Technological, social and environmental advances are prompting businesses to reconsider their hiring criteria. But what skills matter the most?
Employers are not just grappling with a labour shortage, they are also facing major societal changes that are forcing them to rethink the way they do business and reorganize their operations with help from their in-house talent.
This means some skills are in higher demand than ever before. We have identified five key skills that are needed to help organizations adapt and stay ahead of the curve, while remaining stable and profitable. This is what businesses should focus on when recruiting and training employees.
1. Adaptability and complex problem solving
In a world defined by constant change, people need to be highly adaptable. Business leaders, managers and frontline employees have to anticipate and recognize sudden changes, respond with quick action and propose viable solutions to overcome obstacles.
The pandemic provided a good example of why adaptability is critical to business continuity. Most retail businesses went digital with transactional websites so that they could continue to serve their customers, and many other businesses had to arrange to have their employees work from home, practically overnight. By responding quickly to external changes, these businesses did not just gain short-term stability, they also paved the way for long-term success. Acquiring and developing the ability to adapt can help your company overcome challenges, progress and thrive.
2. Collaborative and communicative intelligence
Social intelligence is a diverse set of skills that shape your social interactions, both at work and at home. It includes the ability to understand behaviours (other peoples’ and your own), as well as the ability to take appropriate action under certain conditions. In addition, social intelligence is directly related to your ability to be empathetic and communicate effectively—today’s most in-demand soft skills.
Successful teamwork has always been dependent on good communication between employees. Now that telecommuting is more common, companies need to make sure their staff are able to collaborate virtually. That is why it has become so important to promote and encourage social intelligence within your workforce. It will improve team cohesion and ultimately help companies achieve their goals.
3. Critical thinking
Since we live in a time of continuous transformation, with changes affecting all facets of our lives, one of the most valuable skills in today’s market is the ability to think critically. It allows you to analyze information objectively and organize it. Some employers believe employees should accept things the way they are and complete their duties unquestioningly. But a truly valuable employee is one who tries to understand the purpose of an action, assess the way it’s done and call decisions or processes into question if they believe there is a better alternative.
Given the phenomenal amount of information we are expected to absorb, it is important to know how to think critically. This skill is essential for innovation and is directly related to problem solving. When properly cultivated and used in the workplace, critical thinking can help teams overcome obstacles to reach established targets.
4. Emotional intelligence
Any successful transformation—whether it is technological, organic or otherwise—is driven by people. Not so long ago, recruiters almost exclusively looked for acquired intellectual skills and technical know-how. Employers preferred workers with good academic results and professional experience in their field. While these assets still matter, a candidate’s personal qualities are increasingly being given priority.
In interdependence with rational intelligence, which analyzes the information received, emotional intelligence gives you the ability to regulate your thoughts and behaviour in accordance with your emotions. It also enables you to recognize how other people are feeling, which helps promote good relationships and teamwork. What is more, emotional intelligence gives you the ability to take a step back and determine the best course of action in a given situation. People with high emotional intelligence are better able to deal with conflict and face challenging situations, forge ties with others, communicate with ease, manage stress and earn other peoples’ respect.
5. Creative intelligence
Companies need to innovate if they want to keep a competitive edge. This means they need forward-thinking employees who can come up with innovative ideas and solutions. Creative intelligence allows you to solve complex problems, evolve in step with customer needs, accept novel proposals and seize business opportunities as they arise.
Individuals brimming with creative intelligence are not content with sticking with the status quo. They have an active imagination that leads to new ideas. People with this ability tend to:
- Have a broad vision;
- Think outside the box;
- Find connections between ideas, people and projects;
- Adapt with ease;
- Propose unconventional solutions;
- Be proactive.
By hiring creative thinkers, companies position themselves to stand out from their competitors, especially if they operate in a highly competitive sector or saturated market.
The way we work and do business is being redefined by several different factors. Organizations that promote professional development and recruit employees with diverse skill sets will come out ahead. For many types of jobs, soft skills—such as interpersonal skills—are now more important than technical knowledge. These human qualities have become essential for convincing future employers, excelling in management and having a successful career.
To find out how to spot these essential qualities in candidates and help your workers develop their soft skills, businesses should get help from experts. Contact our team if you would like to find out more about the subject.