Most demanded skills in the post COVID-19 business era


The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive economic fallout, with industries shut and businesses making losses. Employers across the globe have been forced to resort to downsizing or salary cuts to stay afloat. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the lockdown is affecting almost 2.7 billion workers, representing 81% of the workforce worldwide and the current scenario has led some companies to reduce/freeze hiring until the economy recovers.

Even if the Covid-19 cases decline, effects of the lockdown will continue for at least a few quarters and it will take around 6-9 months for things to get back to normal. Increasingly, we will notice that businesses will not operate in the same manner and the uncertainty and challenges will remain up to an extent. In this kind of a scenario, our workplaces are likely to change, and with it, the skills companies will require. Hence, it is important that you equip yourself with skills that will be in high demand in the post-COVID business world. Here is a list of top six competencies that companies will look for while hiring:

Digital savviness

Government imposed social distancing and lockdown measures are driving companies to digitize their operations and be technologically adequate to prevent any disruption to operations. Hence, one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a post Covid-19 world is to acquire technology skills. The Covid-19 pandemic is fast-tracking digital transformations in companies as they are trying to become resilient to future outbreaks and disruptions. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, block chain, data analytics, cloud computing, digital marketing, Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality will prove to be indispensable to render businesses more resilient to such disruptions. Anyone well acquainted with these technology tools will be in a comfortable position in the post corona business world. Several companies who were not adequately ready digitally are keen to hire chief digital Officers or transformation experts, thus putting forth an opportunity to be tapped.

Creativity & adaptability

Organizations have been ever evolving and adapting to the constant state of change of business environment and this pandemic has accelerated it by manyfold. Most organizational strategies and plans have gone out of the window with the current crisis mitigation measures set by government and companies are forced to change the way they operate in order to achieve sustainable long-term growth. Employees should exercise caution as prior trainings and experience might not come handy, tackling new problems will demand creativity and adaptability. The traditional concept of “jobs for life” will no longer exist as organizations would focus on evolving to a leaner structure by merging various roles and responsibilities into a single role. Only the employees who can quickly adapt to ever evolving workplaces by continuously updating their skills and don multiples hats at once can keep pace with these transformations.

Emotional intelligence

Recruiters and employers are ought to value emotional intelligence i.e. the ability to be aware of, express, and control our emotions and be aware of others emotions as much as IQ during these uncertain and challenging times. EQ will act as a key differentiator among candidates as it would represent their ability to take informed decisions during a crisis and deal with difficult situations calmly. In today’s business world with prevalent uncertainty, emotional connect is a necessity for the success of any relationship and organisations are likely to prefer candidates who display courage of conviction and do not fear decision-making. A sound emotional intelligence level can help employees weather any storm smoothly.

Data literacy

Big data is no longer a tool restricted to tech firms; it has immensely helped leaders across industries to understand business trends, predict disruptions, make smart decisions and achieve success. As big data helps to create customer segments and personas, firms are able to achieve better customer satisfaction. Data is a critical asset for every company as data analysis & interpretation can fuel targeted services and generate higher ROI. With the help of big data, companies are able to better, predict the impact of future business disruptions and serve customers with the right products and services. Companies that understand business trends and shifting customer requirements are better able to respond in the right way should a future pandemic come along. However, the power of data can only be harnessed with data literacy i.e. people who are trained and equipped with skills to make sense of the data and make decisions based on the interpretations. Hence, data scientists would be the flag bearers of successful business practices in the post pandemic world.

Constant upskilling

Job roles and their requirements are changing faster than ever as organizations are facing continuous changes, triggered by ongoing digital transformations, thus questioning the common misconception that training and upskilling is limited to the initial years of career. According to the World Economic Forum, 35 percent of the skills deemed essential today will change in just five years. The double whammy caused by corona has forced manufacturers to run their factories at less than 50% capacity and the economy could take anywhere between 2 to 5 quarters to recover completely. Hence, the post coronavirus world will have a tight job market and only professionals with advanced and expert job skills will be in demand unlike others who lack advanced qualifications or demanded skillsets. The good news is that improving your skills has never been easier, as it no longer requires years of study or hefty loans to build up your skillset to be prepared for a post-coronavirus world. There are endless free and open online courses offered by prestigious universtities on numerous online platforms such as Hubspot, Udemy, Coursera etc. that can help you improve your skills. This is the right time to get out of your comfort zone and upgrade your skill matrix as this lockdown provides the perfect opportunity to learn new skills so that you can stay relevant in the highly competitive and volatile job markets.

Innovation

Indian manufacturers have always been a little hesitant when it comes to adopting automation, because of the high capital costs of automation and abundance of cheap manpower in the developing nations such as India. Covid-19 has challenged many of these assumptions as people deployment on the shop floor had to be cut significantly in order to contain the spread of the novel corona virus. Businesses that have come up with innovative solutions such as shifting to digital business models and door step delivery with no touch guarantee have been successful in getting past the crisis without much losses. The story of car manufacturers transforming their production units to produce masks, sanitizers and ventilators tell us that creativity and innovation are going to be essential to weather the storm. In a post-coronavirus world, we will need breakthroughs to develop new products and invent innovative ways of working as the industry would need systems that enable remote monitoring of processes and machines like automated vehicles or even robots moving inside the plants to assess production activities.

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