The Ledger No. 53: Post-Pandemic Skills

June 8, 2022 Sarah Dameron

Leadership team putting post-pandemic skills into practice

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of what leadership skills you’ll need to survive in a post-pandemic world. Read on to explore the top qualities every leader must have in order to adapt to a post-pandemic climate, how to bridge the global skills gap, how skill development can save the world post-Covid and why skills-first hiring is the future of hiring.

The Weekly Ledger post pandemic leadership skills

Adapting to a Post-Pandemic World: 5 Qualities/Skills Every Leader Needs

An AESC survey of 1,000 C-suite executives found that leaders around the globe are concerned their organizations aren’t ready to drive change in key business areas. The truth is, in order to drive change and thrive in a world flooded by uncertainty, leaders must be adaptable and agile. Further, a 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer report showed that 68 percent of people expect business leaders to step in when governments fail to fix societal problems. And as we head towards a new normal, here’s what leaders across the globe will need to showcase:

  • Adaptability. If you compare companies who have been successful throughout the pandemic versus those that have suffered, you’ll see any underlying theme: adaptability.

  • Agility. A counterpart to adaptability, this quality shows just how responsive a leader can be during unpredictable situations.

  • Innovative. If this pandemic showed us anything, it’s just how creative leaders can get. In fact, Covid revealed the need for executives to be forward-thinking and open to new ideas.

  • Collaborative. With a majority of the world’s workforce either hybrid or remote, it’s essential that leaders model efficient communication and collaboration. This means learning new skills, engaging employees at all levels and investing in new tools.

  • Customer-centric. Are you meeting your customers’ needs during this unprecedented time? Leaders who focus on their clients are well-positioned to lead their companies in a post-pandemic climate.

For more on what qualities leaders must have to lead through change and more about post-pandemic leadership skills, check out the full article on forbes.com.

Bridging the Global Skills Gap - Post-Pandemic Leadership

The next generation is about the enter the workforce, but are they ready for it? Thanks to the pandemic, many of the jobs once considered entry-level are now at risk for being automated at a rapid pace. Moreover, a PwC Global CEO survey found that 36 percent of CEOs said they were focused on improving productivity through technology and automation. This combined with the very fact that one-quarter of today’s youth ages 18-24 quit working during the pandemic means that closing the skills gap has become top priority for organizations across the globe. Here’s how companies, governments and multilaterals can address this ongoing crisis:

  • Understand what skills your business needs. Figuring out this need can help you build a pipeline of employees aptly trained for the future labor market. You can do this by creating a national skills map.

  • Leverage corporate training outside of corporations. Get in the mindset of training future employees instead of training internally. Combining corporate programs with a government-led national policy framework means establishing a high-quality national skills development program.

  • Build a national digital skills verification trust. How can you verify that your employees have the necessary skills to perform their job effectively? Interviews, aptitude tests and online portfolios are great, but is that enough? The solution is to create a verification system that enables employers to identify the most useful skills for the new employees and new hires.

  • Develop a skills forum to improve information sharing amongst all key stakeholders. How can we solve the youth unemployment crisis? By building a skills-in-demand forecasting engine that addresses trends in the job market, identifies skills gaps and supports the programs that youth need to be successful.

The global youth unemployment plight is affecting social stability. To understand the true implications and how to combat this issue, head over to hbr.org to view the full article.

Saving the Post-Covid World: Why Skill Development is the Solution

How can you produce better-quality goods and provide better services? The answer is simple: by cultivating a skilled workforce. But then that answer begs another question: how do we build a skilled workforce? Not only do skills development initiatives create a competitive advantage for countries (and businesses across the board), but they also aid in overcoming current skills challenges. Challenges such as:

  • A mismatch between skills and job requirements

  • Limited roles of social partners

  • Training of poor quality and relevance

  • Scarce training opportunities

  • Lack of coordination in the system

By building a national skill development policy, countries can have a unified vision of the skills systems they wish to establish. It can also help promote a more holistic approach to human resource planning (a much-needed process).

The pandemic emphasized the need for skills development initiatives. Take a look at the full article on entrepreneur.com to learn how these initiatives could save the world post-Covid.

Moving Away from the Traditional Hiring Models

It should come as no surprise that skills are a necessary currency between employees and employers. If a person can’t provide the skills needed to do their job effectively, then there’s no reason for a company to keep them on. According to data provided by LinkedIn, 40 percent of hirers on LinkedIn used skills to fill open rolls. Rohan Rajiv, Group Product Manager at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, expands on this thought: “Until recently, talent professionals relied on degrees and past experiences as proxies to assess if a candidate has the skills to do a job.” Unfortunately, that outdated approach leaves a lot of potential candidates out of the running. In fact, Rohan recommends a skills-based hiring approach. But what about the college degree? Is he saying that college degrees are unnecessary to land a job? Not at all. Skills-first hiring is based on the reality that not everyone has the means to attain a degree, but that everyone has the opportunity to gain the in-demand skills that they need to land a well-paid position. But how do you get skilled?

  • On-the-job training. Not only will you build your skill set, but you’ll also get paid while doing it.

  • Certificate programs. An easy way to explore programs around the things that interest you without having to do into debt.

  • Online courses. LinkedIn Learning is a tool to utilize for professional development, especially if you want to impress the hiring manager.

But upskilling doesn’t end there. As the world changes, so do your skills at work. And when companies focus on skills first, they can build their talent pipeline. Rohan said it best: “Hiring for skills will create greater efficiency and equity in our economy, building a world of work that works for everyone.”

For more on why skills-first hiring will be the winning hiring model for everyone looking to improve their post-pandemic leadership methods, read the full article on forbes.com.

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