Depending on the kind of role you are applying for and the industry to which you are applying, the essential skills definition keeps on changing. However, there are certain skills that remain the same irrespective of the job description. These skills play a very important role in the success of the candidate. These skills are often also referred to as soft skills.
Soft skills are nothing but character traits that help you form meaningful relationships and gain visibility. Soft skills refer to essential skills which have nothing to do with the job specifically. However, these skills can help you progress in the workplace. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report informs that over 90% of employers think that the absence of soft skills in a person can be a deal-breaker. The following essential workplace skill will help you prosper quicker at your workplace.
Ability to communicate effectively
To be able to get your point across to your team members is one of the most important skills in the workplace. Employers look for people who have clarity in expressing their views in both verbal and written mediums. This leads to better collaboration and understanding between teams. Polishing such skills holds great importance in the workplace because as an employee one has to communicate at all levels, starting from seniors to customers.
Another aspect of communication is active listening. This refers to paying attention to someone while that person is speaking. Often people just let the other person talk with the agenda that they will talk about once the other person is done.
What are the essentials of effective communication?
- A good communicator will be able to adapt oneself in the face of changing situations.
- Not only will the person be clear in what he wants to express, but they will also be able to assert themselves and remain confident about their content.
- Emotional intelligence is another trait of a communicator. The person will be able to keep their emotions in check while understanding what other people are going through. They are empathetic, to say the least.
- People will approach the communicator to receive constructive criticism about their work. They will also remain open to feedback about themselves.
- A person with such essential skills in the workplace will analyze your body language to understand your emotional and cognitive state better.
Ability to Collaborate
For any organization to prosper, it will need its best employees to work together for the best results. There is a telling difference in the quality of work when people work alone and when they work together. However, problems arise when people do not want to work together because they feel they can do their job better than everyone else. In a workplace where people work in teams, it becomes easier for managers to resolve conflict because of positive relationships. There is no culture of blaming other members. It becomes a lucrative environment for prospective employees.
Characteristics of a team player:
- A team player will believe in delegation if they believe that there is a task that can be performed better by someone else.
- Team players are of great importance during the aggravation of conflicts. They are great at mediation and can bring about resolution.
- A good team player will always be vocal about appreciating the contribution of team members.
- A team player has great self-awareness. They know best how they can help in a given situation.
- Team players can initiate the process of information sharing among colleagues so that after brainstorming sessions, they can come up with inspired ideas.
Ability to adapt to situations
A workplace is a very dynamic environment. Changes take place almost frequently which is why one of the essential employability skills is to brave change without fear. In the face of change, employers will be more comfortable if members of a team attend orientation and workshops to stay updated on recent changes. Some other members often organize self-learning sessions for themselves and take part in informal discussions to share knowledge. The right attitude for such a situation would be to embrace the change rather than be skeptical about it.
Characteristics of an adaptable employee:
- An adaptable person will be inquisitive about the change rather than skeptical.
- The person will be open to learning new things. As soon as they are conversant with the process they will pass on their knowledge to others as well.
- When new changes are introduced, there might be sudden demands that are expected to be met. People with essential skills will have no problems meeting deadlines and expectations.
- People who can adapt well to change are essentially people with a positive approach to learning. Being open to new ideas and applying them to situations is one of the most essential employability skills.
- A good adaptable employee does not resist change because they are able to analyze how the change will be beneficial in the long term.
Ability to solve problems
If one has to answer the question of what are the essential skills in the workplace that can help people prosper- it has to be the problem-solving ability of a person. The best performers in a workplace are usually those that are great problem-solvers. Such essential workplace skills can bring improvement in the workplace.
Characteristics of a problem-solver with Essential Skills:
- A person with such abilities is generally very analytical in nature. Their cognitive inputs can help the company to understand the problem in a new light.
- A problem can cause an organization to go into a state of impasse. A problem-solver has the ability to look at creative solutions to circumvent the problems that have arisen.
- Problem-solving and decision-making are some of the most essential skills in the workplace. If a resolution has been reached, but no one is brave enough to execute it, it is as good as having two problems.
- When more than one person in the team is unwilling to give in to the resolution it becomes a problem. In such situations, it is upon the problem-solver to persuade and convince people to subscribe to their vision.
- Maltese physician Edward de Bono used the term lateral thinking to describe how people in creative careers approach problems. Radical people often resort to such methods. Often such people think in reverse trying to reach a solution by doing the opposite of what has already been done.
Ability to Lead
People might not be recruited into leadership positions, but having the ability to lead gives your employer a belief that you can work as a supervisor or with others. Having leadership skills, also indicates if you can become an asset in a different aspect of the company. This is one of those rare skills which comes with a mixture of other soft skills that can help you prosper as an employee.
Characteristics of a leader with essential skills:
- A leader does not need as much supervision when a project is underway. Once the person is informed of the prerequisites, they can function independently.
- Leaders are masters of resolving conflict. Whenever a problem encounters them, they design a roadmap to recuperate from the problem.
- One of the essential skills in the workplace is to know how to motivate your employees. A leader understands that all employees have different personalities. Hence a person who can lead well will take different approaches to motivate different people.
- A true leader will be selfless. When a task has been completed successfully a person can easily steal the limelight. A true leader will acknowledge everyone’s contribution.
Ability to demonstrate industry among other Essential Skills
Working extremely hard to meet your goals and showing that you actually care about the job goes a long way in solidifying your manager’s trust. When you meet deadlines without having anyone behind you to rush, it shows that you can work without supervision. Sometimes a person might be assigned a job that others might feel that they are too qualified for. A person with a good work ethic will complete the job regardless of what it entails.
Characteristics of an industrious employee:
- People with a high work ethic make optimum use of their own faculties to provide a high output of work consistently.
- Even when they face challenges during work, they do not lose their sense of hope and optimism.
- One of the most essential workplace skills that employers value today is reliability. These people are extremely credible, you can count on them during tough times.
- When people shy away from taking responsibility for a task, they will take initiative in taking onus.
Ability to manage time judiciously
What are the essential skills that companies look for in candidates? The ability to manage time. A lot of people try to multitask and they end up with average results in all of them. However, if a person decides to prioritize their tasks and then delegate a number of hours to certain tasks, they can easily do these tasks with unwavering attention to detail.
Characteristics of a good time manager:
- These people are self-aware. They know their limitations better than anyone else which is why they plan ahead.
- Prioritizing tasks is an important job to manage time better. Once a person knows which work is to be done at the earliest and which can wait, he will be able to compartmentalize better.
- To manage time effectively, one needs to be a good planner as well. Without planning and execution, multiple tasks are not possible.
How can you leverage Artificial Intelligence to choose candidates with essential skills?
LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report of 2019 opines that 92% of talent acquisition managers believe that soft skills or essential skills are as important as technical skills. The same report also states that an objective test can find out the efficiency of an individual with their technical skills. However, conducting a test to check the essential skills is not an easy task for talent acquisition teams. With that in mind, an AI-backed recruitment process can craft an online and interactive assessment, and the algorithm can analyze their answers. AI to conduct recruitment tests can help unconscious bias reduction on the part of the recruiter. That leaves little subjectivity in evaluation. One of the many limitations that recruiters face is similarity bias.
Often a recruiter might see someone and apprehend that person as the younger version of himself or herself. They might be led to believe that the candidate possesses the same essential skills that he does even though there is no evidence to suggest that. This is how AI, with its rationalization, can mitigate unconscious bias. Another way of filtering candidates is to let the talent acquisition team pinpoint the essential skills required for the role and then let the AI filter out candidates with such propensities. LinkedIn’s survey reports that to assess essential skills, recruiters have often resorted to behavioral or situational questions. If the recruitment is in the form of a video interview, the questions can be framed keeping these parameters in mind.
Are essential skills as important as technical skills?
Deloitte reports that now more than ever, there is an increasing emphasis on essential or employability skills. This adds value to the delivery of service. It does not make any sense to keep technical skills at the top of the priority list anymore because even technical skills are not immune to automation. By bringing your essential skills in the face of the fourth Industrial Revolution, human beings bring warmth and comfort in a dynamic and automated world. The World Economic Forum reports that essential skills not only help to coexist with technological change but also add value to services where machines cannot.
Enabling Birbal to take charge of your recruitment drive is probably the right thing to do right now. Closing the gap between what is expected of candidates and what they bring to the table is what Birbal does best.