Top Skills And Qualities Recruiters Will Be Looking For In Potential Hires In 2021

As one prepares to examine the job market in the year ahead, here are eight job skills in 2021 that recruiters and hiring managers will be looking for in prospective employees.

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The year 2020 will be known in the annals of history as the year which profoundly altered the way we live and the year that transformed the way businesses operate. The outbreak of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus witnessed many elements of the business ecosystem undergoing fundamental changes, especially with regards to their operations, recruitment and jobs. The lockdowns enforced to control the transmission of the virus caught most businesses off-guard and they found themselves ill-prepared. With the focus shifting to survival, corporate honchos were compelled to pause hiring and many even downsized their workforce.

After many months of business turbulence, industries have reinvented themselves, revisited strategies, and there are green shoots on the hiring front. However, now, as the world of work has progressed into a more technological and online-centric mode, we have observed a significant shift in the skills being sought. Companies are looking for employees that can quickly fit the new normal. The coming year will see more organisations opt for candidates who are agile and creative. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitalisation, redefining business strategies to ensure business continuity. As a large chunk of companies may continue to permit working remotely, the future workforce should be well equipped to work on a digital platform. They will also need to enhance their social skills. To stand out from the crowd, a candidate needs to think beyond their degrees.

As one prepares to examine the job market in the year ahead, here are eight job skills in 2021 that recruiters and hiring managers will be looking for in prospective employees.


Programming and coding have emerged as essential skills in numerous sectors. The year 2020 has given a big push to the demand for developers and programmers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says software developer job roles are expected to grow 21% by 2028 and application developer jobs by 28%. The reason for this boost is the surge in the demand for computer software and mobile phone apps.

Content creation

People are investing more time online than ever before absorbing more and more content each day. To be able to build an efficient content strategy and plan that targets customer needs at every point in their journey is what recruiters would be looking for. It’s also beneficial to comprehend the role of content beyond each channel, the capability to measure the efficacy of the campaigns, and being apt with words.

Data analytics

An analytics engineer works on re-modelling, examining, deploying, and documenting data. It's one of the most valuable skills that firms will look for in potential hires. The industry is always searching for professionals who can study and discover the trends in data and build algorithms to create raw data that are more convenient to enterprises.

Digital marketing

Digital marketers have the abilities and technical expertise to influence a chunk of potential consumers to purchase, apply, or develop trust in a product or service. With the correct set of skills these professionals are in demand across industries beyond the tech industry, such as healthcare, law,

higher education, food, real estate, and entertainment. Year 2021 will see companies looking for these tech-powered communicators.

Online teaching

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of extraordinary changes in the world and online teaching/learning is one of them. Embracing creative techniques in online teaching and smoothly blending technology into the teaching process allowing the successful delivery of online classroom sessions will be much in demand in 2021.

Interpersonal and communication skills

In a world where communication is majorly taking place on digital platforms such as Zoom, learning how to speak distinctly, yet clearly and connecting with others is key to managing interpersonal relationships, successful problem-solving, and handling conversations. One has to keep in mind that this skill is not only about what one speaks or writes, but it’s also about engaging with others and actively listening.

Time management and self-discipline

Time management has always been imperative, but with the adoption of remote working, it's critical now more than ever. The companies now have to keep faith in their employees that they can manage their time and complete their work no matter where they are. In this age of smartphones, social media, and TV series, one needs to prove that they can complete their task, and be self-disciplined at the same time.

Multi-tasking and work-life balance

Mental and creative requirements for knowledge, achieving excellence, and accomplishing tasks to one’s capacity will be focussed on in 2021. A well-planned lifestyle with sufficient personal time can fulfil them. Working continuously generates pressure, chronic weakness, and causes burnouts. Instead, recruiters would be looking for candidates who as employees can ensure a better work-life balance. Likewise, they should be good at multitasking. Defining the boundaries of success in each territory they choose and consciously allot time for accomplishing different objectives will be the chief criteria.

Recruiters will be looking for talent who can flourish in a virtual environment in 2021. Candidates for remote roles have to exhibit their ability to remain noticeable in a virtual world. Visibility can incorporate offerings with crucial skill sets, working together across teams, utilizing the available tech tools, offering an instant response, being in alignment with key business needs, promoting team’s success, and more.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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