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What skills are employers looking for as we enter a new era of work?

By Gaelle Blake, Director of Hays Permanent Appointments, UK and Ireland

While it’s hard to forecast exactly what it will look like, we’re entering a new era of work which has made employers stop and reconsider what skills their organisation needs for the near future. Here are four which are likely to be in demand as we embrace change on the horizon.

Most of our jobs have been impacted by social distancing regulations – whether we’ve shifted to working remotely, been placed on furlough leave, or remained at work in unusual circumstances. This has required us to adapt to a new set of circumstances and may have pushed our boundaries of flexibility.

The changes we’ve experienced in the world of work look set to keep going, so adaptability will continue to be valued highly by employers in their existing staff and prospective candidates. Employers will be looking for the ability to integrate quickly into new teams, embrace new responsibilities and challenges, and proactively to upskill where needed.

Data proficiency
Professionals with strong data skills will be particularly critical to employers as we navigate a new era of work. Companies are having to make huge decisions involving their whole workforce at the moment, and many are relying on insightful data to do so. Just look at the government’s response to Covid-19 – which, on a daily basis, is based on data around how the pandemic is unfolding.

Examples of data skills under the spotlight include:

  • Web analytics – collecting online data and using it to better understand your customers. Google Analytics a commonly used analytics tool and you can learn how to use it by taking free classes on the Google Analytics Academy
  • Microsoft Excel – it’s one of the most widely used programs in the world of work today which almost everyone will have to interact with at some point in their career
  • Data visualisation – the process of turning raw data into visual presentations which can be interpreted by non-experts. We’re seeing examples of this every day in the numerous graphs and charts detailing the spread of Covid-19

Web skills
Another skill area on many employers’ wish lists is knowledge of web development and coding. These skills have been in demand for a while now and this demand has only strengthened since the onset of the pandemic.

Web skills have been hugely valuable in transitioning entire organisations entirely online practically overnight. As we push forward and embrace more agile ways of working, these will be increasingly under the spotlight.

Udemy offers a range of courses to scrub up on your web skills – or if coding is more appealing to you, try Codecademy for courses appropriate for all levels.

Emotional intelligence
Underneath all of the operational shifts employers have had to make is the very real impact of coronavirus on all of our lives. Whether these impacts have been stronger on our personal or professional lives, we’ve all had to exercise a greater degree of emotional intelligence with our colleagues and be sensitive towards everyone’s handling of the situation.

A cohesive, unified and harmonious workforce is the goal of all employers, which is why cultivating emotional intelligence will be on the agenda as our world of work continues to shift. If we can take anything positive from this situation, it is this increased spotlight placed on the importance of compassion and empathy as working traits.