Mel Subban
4 min readDec 7, 2020

2020 has left us with a mad scramble in the job markets, with companies looking to let go of staff, as well as rethink their 2021 strategies to cope with the economic downturn.

Needless to say, the exponential growth in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption to existing business models in any industry.

Companies will need to rethink their current skill sets, as well as carefully review what skills are being hired in the future.

According to futurists, the following is a list of the Top 10 skills required in any workforce.

  1. Self Management:

With more teams moving to remote working and contracting or freelancing becoming the way companies operate, being able to lead oneself will be paramount to a successful team.

2. Early Change Adopters = Agility

One thing is for certain, the way that companies operate and work is going to change. The life span of any given technical skill is fast shrinking. Together with industry and technological shifts, people will need to be motivated to adopt a change right at the outset, as well as be flexible enough to roll with any amendments along the way.

3. CULTURAL & DIVERSITY INTELLIGENCE (Empathy and Communication):

Companies can now hire a diverse workforce and the ability to hire someone across the globe makes this skill increasingly prevalent. Empathy and being able to communicate with people from different backgrounds will be key to good team-work and an inclusive company culture

4. Creativity + Problem Solving = Innovation

We have already seen the importance of creativity and innovation when Businesses that have been able to come up with new ways to deliver services virtually or shift to new products have thrived. In this era of automation, we will need human ingenuity to invent and dream up new products and ways of working. Human creativity is going to be essential to help keep businesses ahead in the game.

5. Tech Savvy

Closely linked to innovation is being tech-savvy. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for anything is to have a team that has technology skills. Companies that are looking to become resilient to future outbreaks and disruptions are looking to technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, as well as robotics.

6. Data Literacy

With the right data, companies are better able to predict the impact of future business disruptions and are better able to serve customers with the right products and services. Companies that employ people that can understand their data and can use it to make better decisions will ensure that business is thriving no matter what the situation.

7. Judgement & Complex Decision Making = Critical Thinking

Having the right data won’t work if the people that are looking at it cannot make good decisions, and this is where critical thinking comes in. The one thing that AI can’t do that well right now is complex decision-making, judgement calls based on human elements as well as data inputs. People who can objectively evaluate information from diverse sources to determine what is credible should be valued.

8. Leadership/ Enablers

The role of a leader has changed drastically over the past years. Remote working, GIG type workers mean that leaders must now be enablers. Leadership means enabling people to be the best that they can be.

9. Digital & Coding

Teams that have digital skills, including coding, web development and digital marketing will become even more important as the world increases its online presence. Businesses will need to keep the digital business running and shifting with the trends, so the number of ways people with these skills will add value is immeasurable.

10. Lifelong Learning

Companies who have a workforce that is motivated intrinsically by themselves to learn new skills will be the ones that grow exponentially. Curiosity to learn and discover will not only benefit the individual but also help the business.

When one reviews this list, it makes logical sense that given the adjustments in how we operate, these are skills that everyone needs to have. However, there is another more pressing concern which looms over the world:

How are companies hiring for these skills?

Current methods of recruitment involve checking background and education as the constructs, but very little is done to actually check that the candidate has proven EQ(emotional Quotient), RQ(Resilience Quotient) or DQ(Diversity Quotient), not forgetting one of the most important factors such as value and company culture alignment.

I am constantly bewildered with the disparity that exists between job boards and hiring platforms vs the actual skills, competencies and company culture matches that need to take place. I would love to get reader insights into experiences on this topic, so drop a comment below.

For companies that want to ensure survival and success with a winning team, building a recruitment and training program within a companies people strategy should start immediately.