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Top 5 skills that will be in high demand through 2020

leadershipHuman resource professionals are charged with ensuring their company’s talent meets the needs of the organization. The landscape of recruitment is changing, though. Automated processes, machine learning and digital technologies are causing a shift in the type of qualities employers are looking for in professionals today. As technology continues to advance and computers become more capable of performing job tasks and functions needed in the workplace, it is going to continue to change the expectations and responsibilities of human workers.

Earlier this year, The World Economic Forum released its Future of Jobs Report, which revealed some of the top skills that will be in high-demand by 2020. Understanding what skills and capabilities are important to have in the workplace, both now and in the future, will make it easier for leaders to know which to focus their attention on for talent acquisition and employee training initiatives.

1. Complex problem solving
Last year, survey respondents named complex problem solving as the top in-demand skill and it looks like that won’t be changing any time soon. According to the WEF research, this is going to continue to be the most desired skill employers have in 2020, with 36 percent of all jobs spanning across every industry projected to consider this skill a core ability.

2. Critical thinking
The rapid proliferation of data, information and insights that are being collected and aggregated by machines offer tremendous opportunity for employers to use to their advantage. But for it to have any real value, they need people who are able to analyze and interpret this information to make important decisions and solve complex problems. This is why being able to use a combination of logical reasoning, emotional intelligence and hard data to identify and implement solutions to challenges in the workplace will be a skill that continues to be in high demand through 2020.

3. Creativity
Creativity is a skill that seems to be making significant leaps on the list of capabilities that employers are after in potential hires. Although it was listed as number 10 last year, it is expected to jump to the third spot on the list over the next four years. This makes sense because, as with emotional intelligence and negotiation skills, robots and machines can only offer business problems so much creativity. It is a human quality that will become increasingly important as automation takes over a large portion of processes in the workplace.

4. People management
The success of a company relies heavily on the performance of its employees – and, in order to facilitate an engaging, innovative and productive corporate culture, a business needs managers with strong leadership skills. Being able to effectively manage and lead a team of workers is critical to operational performance, which is why people management skills is expected to become high in-demand over the next few years. This includes finding people with strong human resource capabilities, as well as those who are able to motivate and inspire others, particularly in the energy and media markets, Business Insider noted.

5. Collaboration
Exercising strong social skills and demonstrating the ability to work well on a team are admirable qualities in job candidates. Interpersonal and collaboration skills are important in the business environment because they’re necessary for building strong connections, both with co-workers and clients. Robots and computers are becoming increasingly responsible for a wide range of tasks and functions. But they still lack a human element, which is where the high demand for personal and social skills comes in. Hard skills are a critical aspect of many business processes, but there are a tremendous amount of soft skills that are valuable in the workplace.

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