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People skills needed for new hybrid workplaces

Being people-focused is now the most sought-after skill for hybrid jobs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hybrid workforces are now seen as a permanent part of the employment landscape by 89% of British employers, according to staffing firms Robert Half’s The Demand for Skilled Talent report.

In response to the rise of hybrid working, the report found job advertisements were requesting more people-focused skills for technical roles, such as accounting and computer programming.

In one example, the demand for software developers who were able to ‘establish customer rapport’ increased by 51%.

As well as higher demand for people skills in technical roles, there has been a skills shift in demand for more technical and data-handling skills in administrative and marketing roles.

In 2020 there was a 208% rise in calls for advertising and public relations managers with software configuration skills.

For traditional people-focused roles, such as HR, there has been an even greater uptake in the demand for technical skills.

The report found a 23% increase in the demand for HR personnel with database management capabilities and a 50% increase for administrative and executive secretaries with business intelligence skills.

Speaking to HR magazine, Matt Weston, managing director of Robert Half UK, said even before the pandemic, HR departments were leaning more on tools like performance analytics, which required digital skills.

He said: “As so many people have suddenly been forced to work remotely, almost every part of the job has to be done digitally, meaning that skills like data analysis, CRM system proficiency, and so on have become far more important.”

Weston said the need for digital skills in more roles won’t be going away anytime soon.

“Having invested in these tools, as well as newer ones like Microsoft Teams, businesses will be looking to get maximum value out of them which means we’re only going to see more demand for digitally literate employees moving forwards,” he said.

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