We are stepping into this post-pandemic world, with a whole new perspective towards everything. This “new normal” post covid has brought new expectations in the Hiring industry as well.
In ‘The 2020 State of Recruiting Report’ by Lever, it was found that around 62% of recruiters agreed that they will be needing to hire workers with skills that weren’t prioritized in the hiring process before this pandemic to fit this unpredictable business environment.
These soft skills can act as an enabler for the recruiters to hire employees with better cultural fitment thus making a positive and powerful impact on the company’s growth in the coming times.
Here are the top ten soft-skills that the recruiters are looking for while hiring employees in the post-pandemic world:
1.) Adaptability and Flexibility: Adaptability means one’s ability to adjust to unexpected changes, and Flexibility is one’s ability to stay in the present moment and behave according to the changes in the situation. There is a continued shift in the market in the post-pandemic world which changed the skills needed by employers as well.
A survey done by The Talent Professionals found that adaptability will be the #1 recruiter skill for 2021. Another article published in Forbes writes, “Flexibility is going to be key in 2021”. We are moving to the virtual world, not just technologically, but also socially. The meetings are now conducted online, and people are using online platforms for collaboration work. Hiring employees that are flexible and quickly adapt to these changes will save a lot of time and resources for the company.
2.) Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence is one’s ability to understand and manage emotions. Yolanda LauForbes, Forbes Councils Member, listed emotional intelligence as one of the top soft skills in demand for future hiring practices. Emotional Intelligence is essential especially when it comes to hiring for leadership-related roles because this post-pandemic world definitely requires emotionally intelligent leaders and employees to understand and empathize with each other, stay calm under a stressful environment like these times, resolve conflicts in a healthy manner, coordinate well to move enthusiastically towards the organizational goals.
3.) Self-Motivation: Motivation is a drive that makes an individual initiate and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Self-Motivation is where the person has an intrinsic drive to do things and has the ability to motivate oneself. Amy Quinn, A Mental Health Counsellor writes about how Covid-19 has changed our motivation levels. People are dealing with uncertainty in every area of their life and they can easily fall into the cycle of losing motivation, which in turn can affect the productivity of the organization. Also in such situations, providing supervision becomes a huge task for employers. This is where self-motivated employees prove to be an asset as they take initiative and ownership of their work, achieving goals with little or no supervision.
4.) Resilience: Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back from adverse situations quickly. This post-pandemic world has moved our lives upside down. In times like these, hiring employees that are adapting and evolving despite being exposed to the pandemic stressors will be advantageous for the organization. In a survey conducted by Lever, 47% of recruiters are looking for resilience as a new skill while hiring in post-covid times. The employees with resilience can act as torchbearers for other employees, to inspire and motivate them as well.
5.) Communication Skills: Communication Skills includes the ability to listen and understand others, communicate one’s feelings, put forward new ideas and express oneself. Hiring employees who deliver messages clearly and also pick up on cues to understand properly has become the primary need in the post-pandemic world. In a recent survey by GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, it was reported that strong communication skills are among the top skills employers are looking for after COVID times. Communication Skills have always been an important part of recruiting practices but with remote working, it has become a necessity to hire employees who pick up on not just visual and social cues of communication but also auditory cues since companies are relying on connecting and communicating via video and telephonic calls.
6.) Openness to Learning: It means that the individual is open to accept new information, learn new skills, accept new ideas, and has a genuine curiosity towards life. The Future of Jobs Report 2018 by the Centre for the New Economy and Society, found that, by 2022, around 54% of all employees will require upskilling and out of those, about 35% are expected to require additional training; and skills such as active learning and learning strategies will grow in prominence by 2022. It is important to hire candidates who can update their work skills with changing times. Studies have also linked openness to learning with leadership qualities and self-confidence which are additional benefits that come along with this soft skill.
7.) Creativity: Creativity means one’s ability to imagine, generate new ideas, and devise an action plan to turn them into reality. The 2021 Workplace Learning Report, cited Creativity as one of the top 10 most important skills to look for this year. In an unpredictable external environment where budgets are tightened, individuals pertaining to this soft skill — can come up with creative ideas and solutions with constrained deadlines despite limited resources. Therefore, contrary to the popular belief that restrictions stop creativity, people actually come up with more creative ideas and solutions in times of restrictions.
8.) Work Ethics: Someone with strong work ethics carries a belief that hard work is intrinsically rewarding. The person stands strong on his/her moral ground at the workplace, is determined towards work, and performs one’s duty in a disciplined manner. Studies have linked strong work ethics with not just excellent work performance but also with other organizational outcomes and higher job satisfaction. In a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, it was found that 68.9% of employers listed work ethic as an important attribute while hiring. When COVID-19 hit businesses, we learned the importance of having a strong foundation at the workplace. Therefore, companies are now looking for employees that have strong work ethics so as to provide their businesses with a stronger foundation for an unforeseeable future.
9.) Critical Thinking: Critical Thinking is one’s ability to think rationally and clearly; understand logical connections between different ideas and openness to introspect one’s beliefs and values. According to the Monster Future of Work: 2021 Global Outlook survey, recruiters have listed critical thinking as one of the crucial skills to look for in new hires. In times when everything is changing at such a speedy rate, it is important to hire employees who understand better, think clearer to formulate rational ideas for the business. Another important benefit is when employees think critically, they are more self-reflective and are open towards feedback and improving themselves.
10.) Problem Solving: Problem-Solving is an individual’s ability to understand the problem at hand, devise an action plan, execute the plan, and evaluate its effectiveness. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the industry and new challenges are coming into the picture. Companies are hiring employees that function with a problem-solving approach so as to help bring solutions to the unfamiliar problems they are facing that are unique to the post-covid times. In a report by the World Economic Survey, it was mentioned that complex problem-solving is one of the key human skills that will be high in demand by employers by 2022. Also, people who have problem-solving skills modulate their approach according to the situations which will serve as an additional strength to the business.
Now when there is a shift in functioning after this pandemic like changes in working style, the medium of communication, approach, etc., it is important that we start reforming our hiring practices to get the best output.
Hiring employees that possess these soft skills is not some quick tool for success, but it will definitely give companies a competitive advantage in the long run – giving a very secure and strong base for functioning, especially in times of unprecedented situations. So the next time an unexpected disaster like this hits our businesses, we are able to fight back better!
Team PMaps – Psychologist