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The Most In-Demand Skills and How to Sight Them in Potential Employees

The Most In-Demand Skills and How to Sight Them in Potential Employees

It’s an idea that seems positively ancient by now, but there was a time not so long ago when companies knew exactly what they were looking for in potential employees. In terms of training, knowledge, and expertise, it was a straightforward question of pedigree and ‘can they do a, b, and c.’  It was much of the same with personal qualities and work habits as well. The whole process was little more than checking qualifications off a list.

Needless to say, it’s different now. What your company needs is constantly changing, sometimes from quarter to quarter. If you’re going to keep up, it’s imperative that you update your list of must-have qualities regularly. This post will help you do just that. In it, you’ll discover what skills are currently most in demand and how to spot them in potential employees.

In the following sections, we use the now standard practice of dividing the most coveted employee attributes into two broad categories. These categories are 1) the set of ‘hard skills’ that typically involve advanced training and technical expertise in areas that are directly applicable to a specific job, and 2) the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are more personal in nature and allow employees who possess them to work more productively with others across a wide spectrum of circumstances and environments.

Here are the most sought-after skills among candidates today:

The Most In Demand Hard Skills

  • Advanced information technology.  Information is no longer the ‘new currency.’ Rather, it seems to be permanently enshrined at the top of our commerce pantheon, making skills in Big Data, NoSQL, and HTML5 some of the most sought after in the corporate world.
  • User Interface Design. Mining and organizing all this Big Data is futile if it can’t be presented to consumers in a way that’s simple and attractive enough to generate a profit. That means employees with advanced UID skills will become increasingly valuable.
  • Digital Marketing Analytics. The commercial universe is metric-driven now and that’s not going away. Unfortunately for some businesses, this universe is also bloated with competition and buried links. Candidates with high end digital analytic skills can deliver your marketing message to the right consumers, so scoop them up as quickly as you can.

Sighting hard skills in potential employees is a fairly straightforward process. Depending on your industry, these hard skills will vary, but candidates will either possess the skills you need or they don’t. You can start assessing a candidate’s hard skills by looking for applicable certifications, training, and experience. It’s also important to involve the right management team members in the interview and selection process. In-house managers who possess advanced knowledge of the relevant skills are in the best position to review a candidate’s portfolio, speak with their references, and pose the right questions during the interview process.

The Soft Skills You Should Be Looking For

There was a time when you could refer to a set of attributes called ‘soft skills’ and people would know you were talking about someone who ‘communicated well’ or ‘worked well with others.’ Soft skills have become so crucial to a company’s success that you have to be much more specific about which ‘soft skills’ you mean today.

There are literally hundreds of soft skills a candidate might possess, but a few stand out as the most fundamental. Among these few are collaborative skills, the ability and willingness to delegate efficiently, and emotional intelligence. These three skills are intimately related. Each one of them is interdependent on the others and they are the attributes most likely to foster creativity, innovation, and meaningful teamwork.

Because they are more subjective than hard skills, sighting these qualities in potential employees can be tricky. The best methodology includes asking for detailed accounts of projects they’ve managed, probing questions about their crisis management techniques, and spending enough time with the candidate to assess their level of skills in these areas properly.

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Posted by Mellie Goolsby Mathis on August 15, 2017

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