Employment Trends – Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, we would like to emphasize that soft skills have become the new hard skills and are viewed just as or in some cases, even more, desirable to employers.
To increase your employability, we would advise our students to ensure they are continually building up their soft skills, such as leadership and conflict resolution. These are integral to what makes a pleasant colleague and so such skills are high up on the list of what employers look for.
Other examples of soft skills include communication skills, timekeeping and organisational skills and creativity.
Another trend from an employer’s point of view that goes hand in hand with having soft skills is alternative hiring. This is when employers hire someone who may not have as much experience or hard skills necessary for the role but have a personality that is made up of soft skills – meaning the candidate is adaptable to the company culture and easy to teach – thus resulting in a perfect fit for the role and company due to the candidate’s other qualities. In this way, honing in on your soft skill can prove to be hugely important in landing a role.
Moving on to pay transparency, is becoming an increasingly common essential from the employee or job seeker’s point of view. Pay transparency is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to if a job seeker will apply to your advertised role or progress with their application.
There are a number of views surrounding pay transparency. One view, shared by Ken Charman, CEO of Unilever Spin-Out Uflexreward, is that the younger generation will demand it, as is already the case with sites such as Glassdoor.
Paul Cardwell, Co-founder of Saboteur, shares a similar view, saying that the “brightest and best young people prefer to work in a transparent environment,”.
However, Mike Rob, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Boldspace bring up the point that pay can be influenced by experience, location, performance, etc so if employees or applicants only know the figure and not the whole picture, this could create a tense environment or situation. He also notes that not every employee will want their pay to be known and that has to be respected as well.
Next, employer branding is also part of what might appeal to or prevent applicants from showing interest in an organisation. Employers have to make full use of social media and grow their online presence, as well as ensure their branding aligns with their vision and company culture to attract the best, similar-minded employees.
With the ever-growing use of social media, potential employees take note of how a company interacts with its target audience online and appears in its branding to boost its prospects.
Lastly, from both the employer and employee point of view, work flexibility is a trend in employment that has become even more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic. Work flexibility refers to alternative working arrangements aside from being in the workplace for the whole of your working week. This could mean working from home or remote working at times or working different hours than a typical 9 – 5.
Work flexibility is useful for employers as it allows the business to function in a way that suits its needs and meets the employer’s requirements. Work flexibility is also suitable for many employees as it allows more work-life balance and more control of their time.
The above are the current trends in employment. We would advise our students to work hard on using their soft skills to progress further in their careers by working with companies that share similar values.