The labour market is in the middle of a paradigm shift as a result of such breakthroughs as digital technology and artificial intelligence in work environment. Consequences won’t be limited to the extinction of certain professions and the creation of new ones; profiles with a higher rate of employability will also be modified.

“The skills required to perform the majority of jobs will have changed significantly by 2022”, points out a recent report about the future of labour market by the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum). Its founder, German economist Klaus Schwab, even predicts a skill that will be a magnet for HR departments: “an agile mentality in a constant learning process”. It’s what other experts call learnability.

The growing importance of “human” skills

According to the world Economic Forum, there will be a “continuous fall” in the demand of manual and physical abilities. However, the so-called “human” skills will be on the rise:

– Analytical thinking: the ability of solving complex problems by working them out in parts.

– Innovation: creative individuals will be increasingly valued by organizations.

– Active learning: professionals responsible of their own learning process within the organization.

– Design, programming and command of new technologies.

In addition, there are other skills whose value, according to the Davos Forum, will be “soaring”:

– Emotional intelligence: proper management of emotions in order to make the right decisions.

– Leadership: it’s one of the most sought-after skills by organizations, due to the scarcity of individuals who have it.

– Social influence: companies are betting more and more on individuals capable of acting as brand ambassadors.

– Service orientation: the ability of anticipating customers’ needs.

Soft skills vs. Hard Skills

LinkedIn has been able to establish, based on its own databases, professional skills most in demand by companies during 2019.

The professional networking site highlights the increasing importance of social or “soft” skills, which are precisely “the ones robots can’t automate”:

– Creativity: robots are excellent optimizers of “old ideas”, but only creative people can conceive “the solutions of the future”.

– Persuasion: The key to success for any product or service, no matter how innovative it may be, is still the ability to persuade others to purchase it.

– Collaboration: the increasing complexity and globalness of projects brought along by artificial intelligence demands a greater effective cooperation among the members of organizations.

– Adaptive capacity: “yesterday’s solutions won’t solve the issues of tomorrow”, LinkedIn says.

– Time management: another skill that is never out of fashion and provides great benefits throughout a professional career.

The most appreciated “hard skills” this year in labour market are the following:

  1. Cloud computing.
  2. Artificial intelligence.
  3. Analytical thinking.
  4. People management.
  5. Design of user experiences.

How to acquire those skills?

The development of most demanded skills in labour market is something that doesn’t depend just on the will of professionals to learn and acquire them. According to Klaus Schwab, “it’s essential that companies play a proactive role” in supporting their teams through retraining and improvement of qualifications, “so that individuals adopt a proactive approach, on their own, oriented to learning”.

Experts on language platform Babbel argue that the acquisition of professional skills with a brighter future is in the own hands of professionals. The key, according to them, is self-motivation: a motivated person, they claim, “will always find out the way to learn and develop skills that he may not even know he had”.

If you want to acquire some of the skills most appealing to companies nowadays, options are multiple; books, coaching courses, mobile apps and, of course, networking, can help you enhance your professional profile.

Sources: World Economic Forum , Entrepreneur, LinkedIn and El Confidencial

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