5 job skills that recruiters are looking for in 2021

The world of work has undergone a paradigm shift like never before. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic induced disruptions brought a slew of changes, but the rapid acceleration of industry 4.0 technologies means that the nature of work has evolved significantly. Businesses today find themselves in an era of Digital Darwinism. As businesses become more digital and technology dependent, the role of employees too is changing. They need to be capable of catering to new digital business models proficiently.

As per statistics from Linkedin Learning, a 245% increase in hours spent on learning was observed in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic era. This clearly denotes a shift in not only the mindset of organizations but employees as well. So what skills would determine your success as an employee in 2021? Based on insights from Forbes and Linkedin, let’s delve deeper into what the most in-demand skills for 2021 will be.

Learning on-the-go

A key skill that recruiters would looking for would be employees who are constantly willing to learn something new. The nature of technological disruptions today means that job definitions are changing, and the half-life of many skills is reducing at an alarming rate. A mindset that is willing to learn and hone new skills is a must in the ever-evolving work landscape. Agile learners have a better chance at success in the new normalThe ‘Future of Jobs Report 2020′ by the World Economic Forum highlights that 97 million new roles may emerge by 2025 whereas 87 million jobs will be displaced.

Linked Learning reveals that learning Python, Project Management, and Remote Work Foundations are the most sought-after courses in 2021.

Critical Thinking

Uncertainty and unprecedented disruptions have become the norm in a post-pandemic world. Even as a bulk of the population gets vaccinated, new strains that can escape immune responses are a cause of great concern. The implications of new strains are still unknown and it remains to be seem if the world will see any semblance of normalcy. In such times, an ability to strategically and critically is pivotal.  It is the survival of the fittest.

Teams and employees will have to depict an ability not only adapt but have innovate problem solving skills.  Strong communication and ability to think-out-of-the-box will be much sought after in 2021. These employees will become a crucial part of the organizational think-tank in the near future.


Recruiters are also seeking employees who have a proven track record of being adaptable. If you are someone who has survived career setbacks and has emerged stronger or has made a successful career transition, then your skills maybe in vogue.  The drive, grit, and gumption to succeed despite all odds is what recruiters will be looking for. This is a skill that cannot be taught and is something that is conveyed passively.

Coaching Mindset

As markets and business models change, customers too would adapt to the changes brought about by the new normal. It is in these instances that a coaching mindset espouses greater significance.  The ability to coach others  and fill skills need-gaps within the organizations will be critical in building a resilient, engaged and connected team. The best coaches have a keen understanding of the organizational psyche, demonstrate grit, and listen will while being empathetic to the needs of team-members and customers alike. They are problem solvers.

Thriving in A Virtual Environment

Virtual silos and remote working environments have fast become the norm in 2021. Potential employees must show that they have the ability to deliver and communicate effectively in a remote-work environment. They should be visible in the virtual and be able to leverage tech tools, collaborate across teams, be responsive, focus on team goals and success, and ensure that key business priorities are met.

The road ahead

Change is the only constant is an adage that has proven to be true in the new normal.  Potential candidates must be on top of recruiter requirements and demonstrate key abilities. Today, we are living in a more skill driven world where value accretion is pivotal for long-term survival.  Employees must depict the mindset change necessary to thrive in the new normal.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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