The workforce of the future is agile and distributed, with 20% working from home and many wearing multiple hats. As AI augmentation and IT automation change what tasks will be completed by humans and which will make human involvement obsolete, skills and knowledge gaps are poised to widen rapidly over the next five years.
How can you prepare your company for the future, and ensure you have access to top talent as job descriptions evolve and required skills become more specific? The answer lies in adjusting your talent strategy and workforce planning to focus on upskilling and reskilling, providing learning and development opportunities to existing employees, and identifying those ready for advancement.
The Top Skills of the Future
Research from the World Economic Forum (WEF) notes that 50% of all employees will require reskilling by 2025. The top ten skills that are expected to be in demand as new jobs emerge include:
Technology use and development
Technology skills are highest on the list, as artificial intelligence and machine learning infiltrate and become part of the fabric or nearly all workplaces. Not everyone needs to be proficient in AI/ML processes, but a basic understanding of the concept is required for resiliency and employee retention.
- Technology use, monitoring, and control: These skills can range from learning how to effectively monitor and remotely adjust robotics processes in warehouses to managing cloud security for an enterprise
- Technology design and programming: As more and more companies adopt augmentation and automation, the demand for engineering experts will rise exponentially. Training the best and brightest of your talent to drive R&D can be crucial to remaining competitive
Critical thinking and high-level cognitive skills will also be in demand to help companies innovate and grow. This includes being able to troubleshoot the new problems advanced adoption of technology can bring to the table, especially in areas of cybersecurity.
Five of the top ten skills fall within this area, and you can set employees up to develop them by creating an environment that rewards the use of brainpower.
- Analytical thinking and innovation: Keep driving your company forward by nurturing deep thinkers
- Complex problem solving: Reduce the need for outside experts by encouraging internal troubleshooting
- Critical thinking and analysis: Encourage open dialogue and criticism of existing processes as well as ideas of how to do better
- Creativity, originality, and initiative: Employ a diverse workforce to keep thought patterns fresh and minds open, and reward responsible risk-taking
- Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation: You don’t just need thinkers who can come up with solutions; you need people who can then convincingly make their case to stakeholders
A highly distributed workforce by its nature requires self-starters who can work with minimal direction. Seek out the employees in your organization who have the potential for self-management, and make them even more effective by providing learning opportunities to further develop their skills.
- Active learning and learning strategies: 94% of employers expect employees to learn new skills on the job, and 70% have made addressing current or expected skills gaps a priority. The first thing you may need to teach is how to learn effectively
- Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility: The global pandemic quickly revealed which workers already possessed these skills and those who urgently need to acquire them. Those who thrived in remote working environments may already be excellent candidates for advancement. Others are prime targets for employee training
Working with people
Finally, people skills are critical not just for customer-facing roles, but for internal management.
- Leadership and social influence: Part of your talent strategy should involve identifying potential leaders, and focusing on instilling soft skills to make them more effective and valuable to your organization
How Censia Helps You Identify Top Candidates for Reskilling and Upskilling
Censia can develop your Ideal Candidate Models to fill skills and knowledge gaps, then create Complete Talent Profiles for your current employees. The odds are good that perfect people already exist within your organization to step into the breach and help future-proof your company. You just have to find, train, and prepare them for their new roles, and then you’ll be able to reap the benefits of an upgraded workforce and internal mobility.