Skills employers value

In the post-COVID world, many sectors of commerce and industry are adapting and changing methods of working. This means the range of skills that employers look for is also changing. At the University of Leicester, we will help you to graduate with the skills that employers need for the future, not the past. 

At the University of Leicester, we help you gain these skills by embedding The Leicester Award into every one of our courses. 

So here are the top ten skills employers are looking for right now: 

Communication 

In a 2021 survey of 500 business leaders by the Michael Page Recruitment Agency, effective communication was identified as the number one skill needed in employees in a post-pandemic world. With more people working from home or remotely, and environmentally savvy businesses reluctant to fly staff around the world, there is tremendous value in knowing how to communicate through a screen or email for maximum effectiveness (and without seeming rude!). 

Adaptability 

No-one predicted the COVID-19 pandemic or the changes it would make across society. Who knows what else lies around the corner. The ability to adapt workload, schedule, priorities and other factors to changing circumstances is what makes the difference between organisations. 

Self-motivation 

If you’re not in an office – or even if you are – you need to be able to manage your own time and workload to maximise your efficiency. Increasingly, each worker is their own day-to-day line manager. Employers value this skill highly. 

Resilience 

Determination to overcome obstacles and achieve results, whatever the world throws at you, is a hugely important skill. Whether that involves taking decisions to make changes, or just powering through on the original plans, it makes a difference. 

Team working 

Work colleagues are like family – you don’t get to pick them! Employers want to know that whatever combination of staff is assigned to a project, they will get along, working together for the collective good. This skill includes the ability to assign, and accept, roles within a team. 

Problem solving 

Whatever you do, wherever you work, sooner or later a problem will present itself. If you can analyse the problem with a clear head, suggest a range of possible solutions, and then effectively judge the best path to take, your employer will know they have the right person on the job. 

Prioritisation 

Assuming you’re not an octopus, you can’t do everything at once. Do you work uninterrupted on the main task, or park it to deal with quick fixes. Intuitive judging of requirements and benefits is a hugely important skill.  

Innovation 

Employers value new ideas. Or new ways of delivering established ideas. Every company and organisation is looking for something that will give them the edge over competitors, and they rely on their most valued staff to deliver innovative solutions. 

Attention to detail 

Anyone who says “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” clearly doesn’t manage a work force. Employers are looking for staff who care about their work, who won’t cut corners, who will make sure every aspect of a project is the best it can be. 

Presentation skills 

…Which brings us back, in a way, to communication. Just as important as effective one-to-one communication is the ability to explain concepts clearly to audiences of all sorts and sizes, from customers to colleagues to senior management.