Why Soft Skills Will Be Critical in 2021 in Australia and Beyond

With the news of COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon for 2021, job experts anticipate that the soft skills learned from the remote work environment will be critical for the future of work. In the Financial Review, Josef Cabachete GHD’s project lead for global student talent acquisition said that “Having all-round technical and social skills ensures for us that we’re building the next generation of tech professionals, consultants, project managers, client relationship managers and, most of all, owners of our business.”

Additionally, a McKinsey & Company survey found that 87% of companies are experiencing skills gaps or are expecting them within a few years, accelerated by a tumultuous job market and will look at replacing traditional skill sets with “soft skills.” This means that these skills will be applicable in 2021 more than ever as the world re-thinks work and readjusts to what “normal” used to be like.

So what skills will employers continue to look for in a post-pandemic world?

  1. Digital fluency: In a recent survey by McKinsey, 85% of companies said they had accelerated digitization. This means that job candidates will have to be comfortable with a variety of digital technologies from videoconferencing, project management software, and be able to easily learn new programs.
  2. Empathy: Being able to be flexible with people’s changing work structure, family obligations, and general pandemic stress is a valuable skill that employers are looking for and need.
  3. Communication: According to the 2019 Global Skills Gap Report from Quacquarelli Symonds, being able to communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders is an important skill for early career employers and remains one of the top three important skills Australian employers are looking for. This will become increasingly important as remote work environments will become a larger cultural norm as companies pivot. According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn, communication has now become the most commonly required skillin job opportunities posted to the platform since June this year.
  4. Resilience: For the Australian market, according to the 2019 Global Skills Gap Report, is “a particularly relevant skill for the Australian market, since Australian employers attribute more importance to this skill and are less satisfied with it in comparison to global averages.”
  5. Problem-Solving: Being able to address conflict and have conflict resolution skills is critical for Australian employers who are looking to new hires to know how to quickly adapt to solve a problem. What employers will be looking for in a post-pandemic world is the ability to be flexible and solve problems in a unique way.

As hiring in 2021 and beyond will become more soft-skills focused, universities will need to adapt to meet the needs of their students. Work and learn models—such as co-ops, internships, extracurricular activities and hands-on projects—are a natural way for colleges to better engage students and accelerate their career development. While these techniques help develop soft and hard skills, students also need the right guidance and tools to document, communicate, and apply them in the work force.

Symplicity UniHub is designed to support an institution-wide approach to skills development. UniHub connects students to university opportunities which translates into desirable skills that today’s employers desire. UniHub adoption is critical for creating a unified campus experience. By providing a collaborative environment between teams and departments across the institution, students benefit from a single engagement marketplace resulting in a full view of all student interactions at a university level.

For those interested in learning more about UniHub, schedule a conversation with us or email info@symplicity.com.

Australia, Higher Ed, Tips and Tricks, UniHub, Best Practices, career readiness, Career Services, Coronavirus, COVID-19, AUS, Soft Skills, Global Skills Gap Repor

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