There is no denying that the onset of Covid-19 has changed the way we work, when we work & where we work. It has also impacted the sorts of skills that employers are looking to find in potential hires.
As the Australian job market starts to pick back up (and at quite a rapid pace), here are the top 5 skills that employers are looking for.
1. The Ability to Operate in a Digital Environment.
Where many companies were reluctant to allow their employees to work from home, Covid forced their hand and many workplaces transitioned from being 100% office based to either 100% remote or a mix of the two. This meant a complete shift in the way we use technologies in the workplace.
It comes as little surprise that employers are looking for a certain level of digital competence from new hires. Particularly in the use of networking, videoconferencing, collaboration platforms, file sharing & virtual learning.
To show your familiarity with digital platforms in an interview scenario, outline what platforms you have experience in, feel comfortable with and show how you utilised these platforms to boost productivity, work with your team members & benefit the company.
2. Flexibility & Adaptability
The Covid world very quickly showed us that we needed to be able to adapt and change the way we work very quickly. As the pandemic evolved, people found that not only were they suddenly working from home and unable to meet clients face to face as they usually would, but they were also surrounded by family, children, housemates (and furry housemates) as they tried to videoconference and hit their usual KPIs.
We all had to learn to be flexible and adapt to the changing environment as it changed.
To show this to a potential employer, demonstrate how you evolved your role to match the challenges thrown at you. Did you pick up tasks not usually in your scope, headline new initiatives to help the way you & your team operated or just develop techniques to keep yourself on track at home?
The pandemic presented many challenges for employers and employees alike, so where many employers are looking for traits like adaptability, they are also looking for resilience when things don’t go as planned (or went completely off the rails).
This might seem like a difficult trait to be able to define and demonstrate in an interview scenario, but it is something that most people showed in their everyday lives during Covid. Explain examples of what went wrong in your work, working from home life or even just during lockdown, what you did to fix it or how you bounced back to try again.
Just being able to show to an employer that you didn’t give up and met challenging events head on, will show resilience.
4. Interpersonal Relationships
Growing relationships, professional ties, driving change and communicating effectively can be enough of a challenge when you are able to speak with someone face to face, but it gets infinitely harder when you are completely reliant on technology.
During Covid, it became imperative to be able to nurture relationships without being able to physically meet with your colleagues and clients.
To demonstrate effective relationship building and management, speak about what measures you used or put into place to ensure effective communication along with anything you did that nurtured the relationships in your working life.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence can never be underrated. The ability to read the people around you in a non-pandemic environment to help them be their best self is an important skill and becomes even more so when you introduce a pandemic and physical isolation.
It is therefore unsurprising that employers are looking for a certain level of emotional intelligence in the people they hire in not just being able to recognise if the people around them are not in a good place, but the self-awareness to know that you, yourself may not be 100%.
To demonstrate this, explain any examples of how you asked your colleagues if they were okay and took the time to listen to and where possible, help them with their concerns.
It is also okay to show a level of vulnerability. The pandemic affected us all in ways we didn’t expect and showing how you recognised and overcame your personal challenges not only shows emotional intelligence, but resilience and a commitment to self-improvement.