By Sheryl Estrada – Published – Jan. 28, 2020
Experts weigh in on how to train for the reality of a job landscape that requires a blend of technical and soft skills.Credit: CC0 Public Domain Free for commercial use No attribution required Pixabay
Hybrid jobs, those that require a blend of technical and soft skills, are evolving into “super jobs”. As employers adopt tools, including robotic process automation and AI, that can do some of the work that talent would previously have been hired to do, technology changes the nature of the work.
Across industries, these evolving jobs require a combination of skills or hybrid skill sets, which include analytical abilities, empathy, communication and a desire to learn, according to experts. To meet these needs, HR leaders — who set the tone — will need an upgrade in skill sets as well.
“In this new world of hybrid roles, there isn’t a huge talent pool out there that has a resume showing both an analyst’s critical thinking and a designer’s creativity,” Larry Clark, managing director of global learning solutions at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, told HR Dive in an email. “Nor is there an operational rock star who also is a great storyteller and collaborator. Therefore, recruiters need to look for someone who has a track record with some of the skills, an aptitude for the others, and a hunger to learn.”
Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member, told HR Dive in an email that “as the technology landscape continues to evolve, hybrid skill sets are becoming more important to employers.” These hybrid skill sets include soft skills for even the most technical positions. “While AI developers and cloud-computing engineers are certainly in demand, so-called soft skills that can’t be automated — like problem solving, critical thinking, communication, empathy and emotional intelligence — are equally important to recruiters,” she said.
Randstad Sourceright’s 2020 Talent Trends Report found that 66% of employers “are planning to provide training and reskilling for artificial intelligence and 60% are looking to develop workers’ soft skills,” Henderson said. “Hiring employees who can adapt to automation, while also having strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, will be key to creating a strong and agile talent pipeline for the future.”
To keep up, employers will have to ensure learning is part of that pipeline.
The ‘new realities’ of the job landscape
What does accelerating talent and skills development of employees entail?
HR leaders can start by making learning more accessible, Clark explained. “Companies have to build better awareness of the types of learning they offer across traditional boundaries, which includes their typical core competencies.”
He suggested that HR leaders could facilitate creating personalized learning experiences for employees and “continuously be on the lookout for new realities of the job landscape, such as AI and robotics, and adjust their programs accordingly.” This would allow for L&D to get ahead of the trends, he said.