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Valued Skills When Searching for Talent

If the technology is changing, if the job market needs are changing, if the new generations have different needs, it will be in everyone’s interest if competencies and skills are also adaptable.

The relationship between individual and technology has been contributing to the development of closed worlds where social interaction is made through the online network where everything is allowed to say or do. Feedback is less constructive and the bonds of trust between people are attenuated between reality and virtuality. From our work experience, we have found, although empirically, that soft skills such as communication, teamwork, resilience, and the management of emotions are tools increasingly required to integrate the labor market and deal with the everyday problems that all organizations have.

The new generations are coming to the job market hungry for knowledge and new challenges and adventures. They bring in their luggage dreams, expectations, and goals that they want to achieve in the distance of a click. They paint in their minds a screen where the work environment springs happiness, but with abstract representations of what is an organization and how it moves inside and out. Increasingly confined to the online communication where an e-mail serves as an element proof of what has been told. They appreciate to have the phones in their ears, because that is the only way they can focus and because others do not share the same musical tastes. But they want the same thing that previous generations wanted: attention, commitment, sharing, teamwork, motivation, and to demonstrate that it is in the relationship with others that they will get the strength to do different and reflect their true talent.

Deming [3], associate professor at Harvard University, has argued that the soft skills will be crucial to the new job market where people will have to move between different roles and projects.

Even though the future workplace may be seen as increasingly virtual, at home, in the car, on the phone, but at the distance of a click, it will continue to be required teamwork skills to solve problems that arise at a breakneck speed and that will provide clarity at the organizational environment, involving all but still masked by the so-called cloud.

From empirical data collected in organizational contexts, relating to organizational climate evaluations, which allowed us to develop a benchmark analysis among the organizations that we follow annually, it seems reasonable to say that the indicators show a declining trend in what it comes to the collaborative relationships between employees (the average rate of the communication index is positioned in an intermediate zone registering 2.9 on a 4-point scale and the cooperation index and teamwork registered 3 points). However, these are indexes that have been decreasing since we first started to develop this work within our clients’ universe. Indeed, it is a complaint that has become common among the affected teams.

Aware of the importance of communication and collaboration to face the ongoing changes, it is important to disseminate this expertise of teamwork that includes in itself collaboration skills, communication, confidence, and commitment.

In concrete terms, the challenge is to find working models that integrate the interactions in something common, such as the launch of a new product/service and the planning of common tasks.

In this regard, Bohm [1] states that . we do not know how to live together in a changing world. We only know how to live based on the truths from the past, which inevitably results in the present in a group that seeks to impose their truths to another group.”

Once the world is spinning faster than ever, it is difficult to be sure of the functions of tomorrow and which technical skills will be more appreciated, but there is a global awareness that the critical skills to the job market in 2020 will focus on soft skills, which then will feed the learning capacity of the hard skills. According to the World Economic Forum, skills such as the ability to solve complex problems, critical thinking, creativity, coordination with others, and

Table 1 Source Future of Jobs, World Economic Forum

Top skills in 2020

1. Complex problem solving

2. Critical thinking

3. Creativity

4. People management

5. Coordinating with others

6. Emotional intelligence

7. Judgement and decision making

8. Service orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive flexibility

emotional intelligence will be the most valued in the professionals of tomorrow because it will allow people to move into the unknown and constant innovation (Table 1).

Creativity will become one of the most valued skills once it will facilitate the emergence of new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new ways of working, adapted to more informal and flexible contexts.

Likewise, emotional intelligence is one of the main skills, once the widespread idea is that emotions can make thoughts more intelligent. But to develop it, it will be necessary to understand ones emotions and the impact of these in them and in others. It has to do with the ability of emotional intelligence to facilitate the thought, once the cognitive system, problem solving ability, reasoning, and decision making are influenced by emotions. Emotions are part of people and we should seek to integrate them to the rational to obtain gains.

Empathy will take a strong commanding voice. The technology can erode the sense of empathy, the ability to analyze the world wearing someone else’s shoes. But it will be important to engage the teamwork processes, operational changes, and feed the stronger interpersonal relationships to ensure the commitment to the task and to people.

On the stage of uncertainty, where the functions may change frequently, resilience will be one of the most requested skills to all of those who operate in the job market.

The challenges that businesses face and will face are much more complex than in the past, ruling the ambiguity of situations and contexts, which requires change as each year goes by, so adaptability will be a key competence, which will enable organizations to face big changes and find comfort in increasingly dubious contexts regarding future actions.

With the accessibility of information, where sometimes misinformation reigns, individuals should be able to sift through a large volume of data the most relevant information and take decisions based on these, so critical thinking plays a key role.

Another critical competence is credibility because it will impact at a trust relationship level. The professionals of today and tomorrow must build their credibility by fulfilling its promises at the accorded time, leading them to establish positive personal relationships and build professional relationships based on clear, consistent, and integrated communication.

Aware that many of these skills are not being focused in the education system, it is important to realize that the investment in them will have to be made by the individual wishing to enter the job market or by organizations absorbing new talent.

One certainty we have in common with many other professionals in the field of human resources, managers, and business managers: It is increasingly difficult to recruit the right person to the right place because the right person does not respond to the right place requirements. And we are not talking about the technical knowledge requirements, these ones may be there, but about personal skills that have high impact on the job performance. For this reason, the focus becomes the individual so that later, and starting from the individuality of each one of us, we are able to build the web of relationships among all that will favor the growth of the organization.

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