Has your company experienced periods of intense change and uncertainty through the COVID-19 pandemic? We'd be shocked if your answer was "no." In fact, businesses across the country and the world saw sales and revenue drop, workplace safety concerns increase and a workforce overloaded with new home responsibilities. Many businesses were forced to make tough business decisions just to survive.

Some companies had to close their doors, halt operations, reduce staff hours, furlough employees and transition team members to remote work. While this list could go on and on, one thing that many employers realised early on was that a new set of in-demand skills would be necessary to navigate through these times of uncertainty.

understanding the post-pandemic workplace

During the pandemic, employers had very little time to analyse budgets and consumer demand or to assess staffing needs before making critical business decisions. All they could do was make the best decisions possible with the limited information they had available at the time. The speed at which the pandemic affected the business world led to a lot of uncertainty and miscommunication between employers and their employees.

Now, as the pandemic starts to subside, employers have a small window of time to prepare their workforce for the changes that are coming. It's crucial for business leaders to embrace this opportunity to take action steps now, rather than wait for these changes to be forced onto their workers.

in-demand skills for the future of work

While the full impact of COVID-19 on the workplace may take years to see, there are enough signs to determine that new in-demand skills are needed for the future of work. While job-specific skills that are gained through education, training, and experience will always play a vital role in hiring decisions, it’s becoming quite clear that soft skills are also important.

During the pandemic, employers saw an increased need for employees with strong communication and collaboration skills, as these talents helped to ease stress related to the remote work transition. The ability to operate technical equipment and platforms from home also became crucial during these times of uncertainty. Most importantly, employers needed resilient employees that were able to adapt to new working conditions with little to no notice.

This is just a quick glance at some of the skills employers should be prioritizing in the hiring and promotion processes.

the importance of transferable skills

Another factor many employers quickly realised as the pandemic hit was the importance of transferable skills. As some companies were forced to downsize or cut hours, they needed employees who were able to handle multiple roles simultaneously. This shift became quite challenging for some employers as they realised that not only were their team members not cross-trained, but that some of the top employees lacked many of the transferable skills needed to succeed in multiple roles and positions.

Moving forward, employers must put a stronger emphasis on workplace skills, such as customer service, quality control and communication, that provide value in nearly any position. Employees that have these highly desirable skills make excellent team leaders, managers and supervisors.

read our skills of the future guide for more details

With changes in workplace trends and demands already taking shape, employers have a limited time to prepare their current workers for the future of work and to change hiring practices in a meaningful manner that makes it easier to identify and recruit candidates with the skills for the future.

We’ve put together a guide that identifies the top ten in-demand skills for the future as well as tips for how to identify coveted employees and applicants who have these skills.

download your guide