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Beyond CV, 10 skills managers look for

By SHEKHAR BHATTACHARJEE
January 04, 2021 09:24 IST
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Employers need professionals who can view a problem from all angles, analyse the issue, and evaluate the information they have, before making any decision, says Shekhar Bhattacharjee, founder of Dalham Learning, an education platform.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Pixabay.com

The 21st century's global workplace is in a constant state of flux.

Even with the effects of the pandemic, key players in every industry are in the midst of a rapidly evolving economy. This, in turn, means that companies need to hire individuals who will not just work for their company but also bring in fresh ideas and practices.

Hence, the skills needed to be successful in today's workforce differ substantially from those of the past.

Employers are now increasingly looking for candidates with a wide range of nuanced skills that will be crucial to have an edge in a competitive market.

There are a few skills in particular that many employers are paying close attention to while hiring new candidates.

1. Creativity

In the working world, creativity translates to having a knack for coming up with fresh imaginative ways to solve problems or create value for a company.

It's not just innovation, but rather being able to see something that's missing and then solving the problem.

As the competition among businesses is on the rise, it has become paramount for employers to hire creative individuals to design innovative products and services that can help the company stay ahead of the curve.

2. Cognitive flexibility

This skill can be described as the mental ability to find a solution considering multiple concepts.

A cognitively flexible person has the skill to learn quickly, solve problems creatively, and respond to new situations effectively.

In today's fast-paced and uncertain workplaces this agility carries a high value and will be of increasing importance to a company or employer.

3. Problem-solving capabilities

One of the most sought after skills in the modern workplace is a candidate's ability to approach a dilemma from various angles and find out-of-the-box solutions.

Anyone who possesses problem-solving skills stands above the rest in the workplace.

Skills like problem-solving will always be in demand when it comes to the most important job roles. This is because challenges inevitably arise at all workplaces in every industry and employers want to see that potential employees can troubleshoot and solve them independently.

4. Critical Thinking

Now more than ever, employers need professionals who can view a problem from all angles, analyse the issue, and evaluate the information they have, before making any decision.

As problem solvers, critical thinkers evaluate information and decide how to interpret it in order to reach a solution or conclusion.

Employees with these skills bring a fresh perspective and offer intuitive solutions and ideas to help a company get a step ahead of the competition or improve internal processes.

5. Adaptability 

It's become evident that industries rise and fall every day in this modern economy, employers need individuals who can adjust and adapt to changing circumstances within the company.

6. Emotional Intelligence

This is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions positively, empathise with others, and communicate effectively to overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

While higher levels of emotional intelligence are undoubtedly an asset in people-centered roles, such as HR, the health professions, and people management, it can be helpful in all jobs that involve interaction with people whether it be colleagues, customers, or bosses.

7. Teamwork

The workplace has become very diverse. So it's natural that employers will test your ability and willingness to collaborate with others to find unique solutions to company challenges.

8. Leadership

Communication and project management skills come under the umbrella of leadership, if an employer feels you have the ability to manage a team and lead them, you may be hired on the spot.

Even in non-management positions, the ability to motivate fellow employees toward a common goal, set priorities, and manage resources is a highly desirable skill.

9. Decision-Making

Job applicants who want to rank high on a hiring manager's list will have to demonstrate the ability to identify and evaluate options.

They will have to make sound decisions that will positively impact the bottom line of the company, boost employee morale, and the whole team.

10. Time Management

Hiring candidates who possess the ability to manage their projects and deliver results on time is a highly valuable skill.

Your ability to manage time while handling projects will be tested at your job.

These 10 skills are not just a passing trend or fad. They are life skills that one needs to acquire, and will never go out of style.

Not only will it add value to your professional life, but also help you develop the confidence and tools to become a fully contributing member of society.

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