As the economy continues to recover from the dramatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are finding they must readjust their talent bases to fit the new world of work. Many organizations have had to change their goals or structures over the last year and a half, and that means the skills they need have changed, too. Similarly, hiring managers will have to revamp their approaches to recruiting new talent to adapt to the realities of the new labor market.
The pandemic upended work itself, and as organizations look to regain their footing, they have an opportunity to reprioritize for the future, starting with recruitment.
5 Skills That Matter Most in the New World of Work
While the pandemic made a significant impact on careers and resumes, the challenges workers faced during this time also provided opportunities for personal development. In some cases, workers got creative by taking on new roles, while others used the pandemic lockdowns to learn new skills. As a result, many workers are stronger now than they were at the start of the pandemic.
Today’s top talent has picked up a variety of skills that employers will need as they look ahead to the future. In particular, the following five skills should be on every organization’s radar during the recruitment process.
1. Problem-Solving Capacity
While the ability to solve problems has long sat atop hiring managers’ requirement lists, the pandemic has placed an even greater emphasis on hiring and retaining solution-oriented individuals. Business owners found themselves in unfamiliar territory, and they needed strategic solutions and speedy support from all areas of the business to keep their companies running. Employees who took on formal and informal leadership roles — whether by choice or necessity — learned to adjust to a fast-paced work environment. In many cases, these workers went beyond simply completing the task at hand; instead, they adopted owner-like mindsets and focused on what was best for the business.
Problem-solving has taken on a new importance, and it will continue to be a vital skill as organizations and workforces evolve in the post-pandemic era.
2. Multifaceted Experiences
The depth and breadth of a candidate’s past experiences offer a window into how they would perform in a new role, even if those experiences seem unrelated to the job at hand. And the pandemic provided many people with new experiences that helped them uncover new areas where they excel.
The pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but it has also led more workers to identify their passions and strengths. Hiring managers should intentionally seek out candidates who had new experiences and faced new challenges during the pandemic. These job seekers are poised to bring greater productivity and increased quality of work to any organization that hires them.
3. The Ability to Inspire Trust
Trust and collaboration were key to keeping teams connected, motivated, and productive during the pandemic. The shift to remote work required more accountability on the part of the employee, and employer support was necessary to preserve a strong employer/employee dynamic.
As we emerge from the pandemic, the ability to build trust with one’s leaders and colleagues will be paramount. While many organizations overlooked this quality in the past, the last year and a half has shown us all that employees who inspire trust can strengthen both their teams and the entire organization.
4. A Service-Driven Mentality
A service-driven mentality is the ability to put others before oneself. Those who prioritize the needs of others have an important, universal skill that can translate to any field, industry, or role. This mindset can strengthen interactions between employees, colleagues, clients, and customers, creating a positive work environment and organizational experience for all.
5. An Affinity for Building Relationships
Building strong, enduring relationships has never been more of a priority in the workplace as businesses look to reunite and rebuild their workforces. Every individual employee has the power to foster professional relationships, advocate for others, and drive collaboration to get the work done.
As a result of the past year, the skills companies look for in employees have changed. Some previously sought-after skills have taken on new forms and new importance, while previously overlooked capabilities have climbed to the tops of hiring managers’ lists.
Employers need strong talent bases to adapt to the new world of work and position the business for the future. The skills employees forged during this period of transformation will help organizations move forward stronger, ready to solve new challenges and reach greater heights.
Jason Delserro is chief talent acquisition officer at ADP.
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