Recruitment Market Segment LS
Recruitment Market Segment RS
Friday, 22 November 2019 12:19

Employers prioritise technical skills in hiring for the ‘digital future’ Featured

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Employers prioritise technical skills in hiring for the ‘digital future’ Image stuart miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A degree may no longer be enough in the eyes of an employer as organisations prioritise technical and soft skills to further their business transformation goals, according to new research which reveals that hiring managers forecast it will be more challenging to find qualified professionals in the coming five years - despite 68% of the Australian population holding a qualification.

According to the research from recruitment firm Robert Half, the top three skills managers will look for in candidates to successfully lead a company into the “digital future” are technical know-how (57%), delegating decision making processes (53%) and communication skills (52%).

Robert Half says technology evolves at such speed that very few technical capabilities remain relevant without some degree of regular upskilling, and “employers are not only looking for employees who have functional aptitudes relevant to the role, but also the ability to develop and apply new skills at speed”.

The research found that the technical know-how is considered the most important skill necessary to drive an organisation into the digital future, according to 57% of Australian managers.

Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half says: “Higher academic qualifications are no longer the primary pathway for those entering the workforce to achieve their career goals”.

“Given the rate at which technology evolves, the skills and knowledge required to fulfil a role successfully are changing at a greater rate than traditional university courses can adapt to so holding formal qualifications is becoming a less relevant indicator of a candidate’s suitability for a job.

“While higher education is certainly considered a strength in the eyes of an employer, it doesn’t reflect a candidate’s growth potential, industry familiarity, or cultural alignment with a company.

“With every industry undergoing massive digital transformation, companies are looking for skilled candidates who can complement their automated processes with a depth of human insight and soft skills which an academic qualification cannot necessarily cultivate.” 

 “It’s important to note that while degrees may no longer be a requirement for a role, applicants with a higher education qualification usually receive a higher starting salary than those who don’t have one.”

Finance and accounting companies reveal they are looking for professionals who can demonstrate skills in areas like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP/Oracle.

And In the financial services sector, the top skills in demand include IFRS 17 reporting, fund accounting and regulatory reporting - while in the IT industry, candidates with backgrounds in coding, especially Java, C#, C++, and React are in high demand.

“Professionals at every stage of their career therefore need to adopt a mindset of constant learning and regularly upskill their own capabilities to remain relevant in the market,” the recruitment firm notes.

On soft skills, Robert Half says that in a period of automation, employees are central to driving human-machine collaboration by overlaying automated processes and big data with human insight.

And the recruitment firm says this extends from extracting critical and analytical value from data, creating cross-functional collaboration between teams and processes, and communicating value back to stakeholders.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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