The Headhunters Have Spoken: Rigidity Is Our Worst Enemy Moving Forward into the Future
07 de May de 2021
07 de May de 2021
If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us something, it’s that, much like in Radio Futura’s song, “the future is here”. Suddenly, the predicted work environment’s digitalisation has come true. No heads-up, no warm-up, due to force majeure. Little by little, we’re coming out of this exceptional situation that the economy and employment have gone through. Working in the office is something that is coming back at a very slow pace as working from home is still the general rule. But, we know that there’s no going back to the “old normality” in the work environment: digital transformation is not just dipping its toes in the water of our existence, it’s already swimming with us.
Nevertheless, the digital field is just one —undoubtedly a major one— of the various transformations that the labour market will be facing in the coming years. Knowing this is crucial for headhunters as well as for workers, managers and executives. Pilar Llácer, Human Resources Professor at EAE and moderator for the talk on Upskilling & Reskilling of EAE series “Meet the Headhunter” told us: “They may tell you that there’s no such thing as ‘the future of work’, that we don’t know what we will be doing in the coming years. But we do have some certainties: digital competence is crucial and the future will be shaped by climate change. The change in the energy model will affect each and every sector and job”.
For Mauricio Jiménez Morón, Managing Director at Wyser, there’s no point in talking about ‘digital transformation’, but rather simply about transformation, “since everything’s been touched by digitalisation”. It’s crucial to understand that the world is moving forward fast towards a change of paradigm that requires ability to adapt and creativity from recruiters and employees. With this in mind, there are two major concepts to be taken into account: Upskilling —the learning of new skills (especially technological ones) inside the same field— and Reskilling —the training of employees to adapt to a new position inside the company. Mauricio points out that “companies want people that can adapt to changes” and he stresses the importance of bringing creative solutions and having a high emotional intelligence.
In the last few years, imbalance between labour demand and offer has grown. Spain is going through a profound labour crisis but this is a global trend and it goes beyond unemployment. Companies are not finding what they are looking for and professionals can’t find their place in the market. According to consulting companies reports, by 2030 there will be up to 80 million open job positions globally. Something is not going well. But Cristina Villanova, Corporate Manager Director at Catenon, stays optimistic: “We’re in time to get on the transformation train. We must be aware of the new opportunities so that we can adapt through training and education”.
“We have yet to give a name to 65% of the professions that will exist by 2030”, says Spring Spain’s Raquel González Cruz. Behind her words, there’s the exciting challenge of getting tomorrow’s professionals to acquire the needed competencies in order to be part of the professions and market niches that will be shining in the future. “We’ve already seen it with the pandemic, where we've worked with teams remotely. A strategic vision is needed in order to lead these situations”. This adjustment to the new reality implies big workforce changes, with a great number of employees leaving or adapting to new roles. All in all, in net terms, Cristina Villanova explains that jobs are being created.
The old idea about training and specialisation, the one that makes workers remain for years doing the same, is outdated. Constantly training, delving into other matters, having new roles inside or outside the company are things that are on the rise. Rigidity is the worst enemy of the worker of the future. “Every company is changing their services”, Mauricio explains. The Digital Mindset will be transversal in these transformations. It permeates everything. “Companies want people with a thirst for knowledge and who can move swiftly in the face of uncertainty”, Cristina adds. Cases such as the Alvarez Gómez perfume company —who started selling hand sanitiser during the pandemic— are proof that being prepared to face any situation that can come our way is already a decisive step for the future of a company. But, also, that professionals that know how to adapt and be flexible to the new needs will be the ones in highest demand.
The market has turned global. Remote work makes a Spanish professional compete with workers around the world. This has some market advantages, but it also brings about a fierce competition. e-Commerce, Digital Marketing and Web Design have been boosted by this global ecosystem. But, in such an ever changing environment, we must pay attention to which way the wind is blowing. “The ability to anticipate will make you stand out”, Pliar Llácer points out.
The 7th EPyCE Report 2020 on Job Positions and Competences in Highest Demand —carried out by EAE Business School, in association with the Spanish Association of HR Directors (AEDRH) and Fundación Once’s Foro Inserta— showed, back in march, these positions that are on the rise: blockchain expert, machine learning specialist, health & wellbeing coordinator, waste manager, chatbots manager and data ethics and privacy expert. Also, big sectors, like renewable energies, are also rising. Knowing exactly what we can bring to a business, regardless of the sector, is really important if we intend to stand out in this complex market we currently live in. “Knowing one self, training, education and experience are crucial”, Mauricio concludes. From there onwards, we need to come to terms with the fact that looking for a job is a job in itself that requires all of our energy and capacities, making use of our networking and analysing every option.