Sustaining skills in a post-Covid world: a vision for the future

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In the second part of our series on sustaining skills in a post-Covid world, we take a look at how a post-Covid recovery will draw upon rebuilding business functions, and how candidates need to be leading the pack in the exit strategy. 

Today, we are being presented with a host of new opportunities. We know that there is great importance in enhancing and developing your skillset as a candidate moving into a newly formed working environment, and how to be attractive to employers who have reassessed their needs.

As such, a marginal yet growing increase in employer confidence will see businesses begin to re-invest in their hiring strategies and take steps to unlock the economy in their field. A continued stagnancy in talent acquisition can’t be afforded, especially when workloads strengthen and the need for talent is re-ignited.

Recognising opportunity here is key. In a post-Covid recovery, companies will want to draw upon rebuilding and repositioning, and candidates need to make themselves attractive to the new vision and requirements. This should be viewed as an opportunity for professionals to re-invent themselves and actively contribute to innovation in their sector.

The widening talent pool

When it comes to the recruitment process, the responsibility to restart this is usually that of the internal hiring manager. They are facing new pressures today, as businesses take another look at what they need to reposition and rebuild their workforce, wanting to source the best talent from a rapidly growing pool of potential candidates. Companies that are looking to exit from this crisis in a successful manner will be taking steps to attract and hire the best talent.

The skills required from these candidates will not necessarily change, but certain skills will be more vital now and sought after by employers. It is necessary for individuals to adapt in order to position themselves in the best light to future employers.

However, it is important to assess your own skill set and expand and develop this as required. Companies may have explored skills mapping as a way to identify what they need from a new hire, taking into account the nature of the projects, clients and accounts that they are working across. This will ensure that all jobs across a business are necessary to it running efficiently. 

Therefore, candidates today need to take the time to re-evaluate the skills they have, making use of online training, webinars and workshops to boost their offering to a potential employer. Although candidates should evaluate their own skills to see where improvements should be made, there are three core areas that will be in demand in a post-Covid world:

Critical thinking

The ability to make informed decisions under pressure will be a highly sought-after skill. A candidate who is able to demonstrate resilience and patience through periods of disruption will be invaluable to a business that is rebuilding, even if only on a temporary contract. As a strong leadership characteristic, critical thinking qualities position a candidate in good stead when it comes to progressing within their industry.

We are seeing examples of this take place across the engineering sector, as innovators are taking a look at the industry and making changes to the way they operate to meet new demands.

Emotional intelligence

Being aware of the vulnerabilities and emotions of your colleagues is growing in importance when it comes to developing a skill set that is advantageous in a newly formed and highly competitive jobs market.

In order to navigate through times of crisis, leaders taking a step up will need to be able to demonstrate emotional intelligence in order to support their team through periods of uncertainty. Candidates that hold this skill will be in demand and relied upon to manage future periods of change.

Furthermore, much like managing a multigenerational workforce, the new workforce will have many different needs. Working at home is great for some but difficult for others for example, while there may be tension between those who have been furloughed and those who worked continuously.

Adaptability

Ask yourself one simple question. How well have you adapted during the Covid-19 crisis? Adaptability is a core skill that professionals working across a range of sectors should value greatly.

Importantly, adaptability is not just about managing and embracing changes within the business. It is also about recognising when there is a skills gap to be filled, opportunity to support the development of other colleagues and team members and staying in tune with the jobs market.

Looking ahead

It’s clear; the time for change has arrived. Businesses are taking a fresh look at how they fulfil their core functions and project needs, and candidates are moving into a highly competitive and challenging race for positions. Taking control of that space, and becoming a valuable proposition to businesses, whether through up-skilling, re-skilling making use of learning and development opportunities or taking a leap into a completely new field, now is the time to acknowledge and embrace change.

If you’re looking to bring in the best talent to your business, or to secure your next position, get in touch
 

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