The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping the world of work and the last 18 months has further accelerated a change in what employers are looking for. Innovations such as robotics, 3d printing and artificial intelligence are changing how employers approach their day-to-day business and this leads to a shift in their expectations from employees and potential employees. Some job roles may become redundant, but others will be in great demand and here we’re looking at four key skills that the employers of the future will want from their applicants.
Deloitte’s 2019 Industry 4.0 Readiness Report found that the most innovative of the technology, media, and telecom companies they surveyed value critical thinking skills over technical skills. The importance of critical and analytical thinking cannot be underestimated. As more and more data is available about customers and clients, and computers can process this data even more quickly, the ability to analyse becomes of key importance for employees. The most effective and in demand workers in the future will be those who can effectively interpret, analyse and logically assess data, something machines are as yet unable to do.
The children born in the 21st century entered a world where digital comes first. Almost all are more capable with technology than their older counterparts and in the world of work, this is a huge bonus. The digitisation of work processes is becoming a priority for many businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to move more quickly to a digital approach than they had planned. While many employees can quickly adapt, others may have found themselves lacking in digital literacy, whether that meant an inability to effectively use video conferencing or issues with digital tools as no prior training was provided.
Going forward, professionals in all industries will need a level of digital literacy which has not previously been required. Technologies such as blockchain, IoT and data interpretation will be required expectation rather than an additional bonus skill.
Self-Management and Discipline
A survey carried out by Gartner found 82% of company leaders plan to allow some degree of remote work beyond the end of Coronavirus restrictions. A growing trend towards outsourcing and freelancing also shows that companies recognise how those working remotely and flexibly bring added value to their firm.
As less work takes place in traditional office environments and more becomes remote, self-management and self-direction are more valuable than ever before. Employees need to have the right mindset and skills to motivate themselves from home or their chosen remote location and this will be something employers will want evidence of in CVs and previous work experience.
Emotional Intelligence and Awareness
We’ve talked recently about the importance of soft skills and with this comes the need for emotional and social intelligence for success in the future world of work. High levels of emotional intelligence make it easier to adapt to difficult environments. With increased resilience and social understanding, employees can adapt effectively to the changing world of work and can properly manage and regulate their own emotions and needs, as well as being aware of others. Emotional and social awareness helps to underpin relationships in the workplace as well as importance skills like empathy, negotiation, persuasion, and conflict resolution.
Recognising today the skills that employers will want in the future helps you position yourself well for change and ensures you are ready to take on any challenge.