We’ve seen COVID-19 change just about every aspect of our lives, including the very nature of work. Business needs have changed drastically. Therefore, it stands to reason that some new skills will be needed as businesses navigate the crisis and its aftermath.

Some businesses are still hiring in this climate, but they are very specific about the kind of candidate they are seeking. We have seen hiring managers add some of these new skills to the job description, and we expect that to continue.

Hard Skills

These hard skills are ones we expected to emerge sometime in the future, but COVID is accelerating the timeline and making the need for these advancements greater.

  • Data Literacy: This is the ability to analyze raw data and take away meaning. This is key as businesses work to keep up with changing customer needs and behaviors.
  • Coding and Digital Skills: Because of social distancing mandates, many businesses have a larger digital footprint than they did a year ago. Therefore, they need team members who can manage that digital presence and optimize it.
  • Digital Marketing: Similarly, businesses who haven’t yet developed a digital marketing strategy need to do so in order to meet customers where they are – the internet. A digital ad is going to have a much bigger imprint than a billboard these days.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Efficiency and effectiveness are king right now. If there’s a way to do a job more quickly and thoroughly, it should be taken advantage of. The ideal candidate going forward will have some understanding of how to use AI and ML tools to do their job more effectively. Remember, these tools are there to help you do your job, not take it away; there are some skills that technology just can’t replace.

Soft Skills

These soft skills are a little less concrete, but no less important. They can be adopted and honed for pretty much any job and should be at the top of any hiring manager’s wish list.

  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Internet-Based Communication
  • “Intrapreneurship”
  • Commitment to Learning (no matter their level of seniority)
  • Self-Motivation
  • Autonomy
  • Independent Work Ethic
  • Ability to Strategize
  • Emotional Intelligence


If you need help finding candidates with this skillset, please reach out to one of our expert recruitment consultants today. You can also browse our advice section for more insights.

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