The sudden onset of COVID-19 has intensified the use of new-age technology tools..(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The sudden onset of COVID-19 has intensified the use of new-age technology tools..(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Skills required to thrive in the post-pandemic era

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with perplexing challenges that are going to have a lasting impact on the way we live and work.
By Yogita Tulsiani
PUBLISHED ON DEC 02, 2020 03:05 PM IST

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with perplexing challenges that are going to have a lasting impact on the way we live and work. The containment strategies announced by the government and health officials made people shift to remote working models overnight. To adapt to new changes, every job function is fundamentally transforming to upheave the economic plunge.

Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the adoption and evolution of technology, working models and customer behaviour was disrupting the workforce. However, the sudden onset of COVID-19 has intensified the use of new-age technology tools. According to the World Economic Forum, almost one-third of all jobs worldwide will likely be transformed by technology in the next decade. This is pushing the talent management teams to reimagine the HR practices, strategies, and learning models.

In the hope to move towards a better world post the COVID-19 era, the organizations and their workforce need to change their existing mindset. Considering the present scenario, talent leaders and managers will have to realize the need for re-evaluating the organizations’ goals and employees’ existing skillset to make informed and knowledgeable decisions. Additionally, they will have to focus on nurturing the workforce to make them resilient when the pandemic subdues.

The urgency of closing the skill gap

The business environment is rapidly changing. The organizations are adopting new-age technology – artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, and many among others. With this rapid influx of digitized solutions, organizations are coming up with new roles that require specific talent and relevant skills, usually learned without acquiring degrees.

The conventional approach of working and staying competitive at work will quickly become outdated. According to a recent report, there are close to 99 percent of learning and development executives who believe – not closing the skill gaps in the next 3 to 5 years will have a severe impact on customer satisfaction and experience. It will also impact product development and delivery as the organizations will be incapable of innovating, restricting their growth.

There are several important future-ready skills that will play a crucial role in building a sustainable future in the time of uncertainty.

Digital skills – New age technology

Organizations are investing heavily in adopting automated business processes. To build a sustainable business that continues even after the crisis, the organizations are focusing on hiring a workforce that is technologically and digitally advanced. Since the consumers have moved to digital channels, the organizations are realizing the importance of digitally enhanced offerings and interactions. Digital skills, mainly in – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Cloud-Computing expand the ability of employees to respond to post-crisis market needs and work in a digitally advanced environment.

Cognitive skills – Innovation and Scalability

The change that the uncertainty brought has transformed the way of responding to the present business landscape.To embraceresilience, the need for problem-solving skills, creativity, and innovation are rising. Even before the pandemic, businesses started realizing the need for cognitive skills. According to a global report 2018, the top skills that were required by this year are cognitive, social, and emotional skills for critical thinking, problem- solving, management, and decision-making. Now with the adoption of remote working models, the talent managers are focusing more on requiring managers who can work in a highly dynamic and evolving business environment.

Management skills – Emotional and Social

In the time of adversity, maintaining strong ties with clients is imperative for growth. Strengthening the social and emotional skills are required for driving change and building professional relationships with clients as well as employees. In the distanced working models, talent leaders are transitioning to hiring managers who possess advanced communication skills that are critical for supporting the people associated with an organization. After the pandemic, the need to cultivate emotional and social skills will increase agility and flexibility at the workplace.

To thrive during and after the crisis, employees must be all equipped to ensure adaptability, flexibility, and creativity. Talent managers need to redesign hiring strategies focusing on fundamental skills that can bring improved outcomes. If the talent teams fail to nurture the existing talent of their employees, they potentially limit the organization’s growth and sustainability in the future.

(Author Yogita Tulsiani is MD and Co-founder, iXceed Solutions (Global Tech-Recruiter Provider). Views expressed here are personal.)

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