Position yourself for success in a post coronavirus world.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) continues to reshape the workplace in dramatic ways, savvy employers are looking beyond what candidates can bring to an organisation in terms of skills and talent. Coupled with the radical effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a worldwide shift to digital, remote working models, the recruitment landscape – particularly within IT – is more focused on innovation and adaptability than ever before.
Indeed, in the destructive wake of Covid-19, employers will likely be placing more emphasis on the right culture fit – and the potential for individuals to innovate, adapt to fast changing conditions and problem-solve for the unexpected. On the other hand, employers have to demonstrate how they themselves innovate, evolve and embrace positivity … in order to attract top talent.
It’s critical that every organisation and its leadership team lives by the values it espouses. As businesses look to reshape business models and their ways of working after the extended lockdown, their recruitment models will also change fundamentally – and leaders will be very careful about choosing talent that reflects their own values and mission statement in a post-pandemic environment.
Importantly, talented professionals within IT will differentiate themselves by having a clear purpose and vision – both for themselves and their communities – which naturally translates into higher engagement, commitment and resilience through turbulent times.
A CV that has all the right kinds of experience is one thing, but a personality match is equally important to consider during the recruitment process. Hirers consider a candidate’s attitude, passion, purpose and servant leadership qualities. Also, does the individual have a clear ‘why’ behind what they do in terms of their work? At Basalt, we believe that coming to work shouldn’t feel like a job … and if it does, then you are in the wrong place. This is the kind of thinking that is becoming increasingly popular in 2020.
Technology will drive economic recovery after Covid-19
There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has shifted ways of working, and we are likely to see a continuation of these shifts as the world adjusts to its new economic reality. Already, experts are predicting that demand for expertise in the key areas of artificial intelligence, data analysis, Internet of Things, blockchain and augmented reality will rise fast – as technology fuels the economic recovery around the world.
Arguably, the need for these tech skills, coupled with a demonstrated history of innovation and adaptability, will put talented IT professionals in the driver’s seat of a very different global business order.
Within IT, it will become imperative to be fluent and highly skilled within data literacy, various coding languages, critical thinking and creativity. Skills and knowledge are moving at a rapid rate within the industry. IT has a very short technology cycle which sees processes becoming outdated quickly. The pressure is now on for the industry to be upskilling and reskilling in order to meet clients’ needs effectively and facilitate the change across other industries. Notably, according to the World Economic Forum, in just five years, 35 percent of the skills deemed essential today will change. This highlights the importance of being adaptable and forward-thinking … particularly in a post-pandemic world.
South Africa has top-quality skills and we see that in the rise of engineers getting opportunities overseas. Our issue is not how skilled our people are but rather how is knowledge transfer happening between the skilled and the up and coming talent.
Other jobs that are in demand and still highly sought after in the technology space include: AI/Machine Learning, Data Science, Cyber Security and DevOps.
Indeed, the reality is that, in the rest of the world, there is more demand than there is supply – and the challenge is how organisations are working to bridge that gap.
South African IT engineers and tech professionals realise the importance of staying up to date with the latest tech, not just because their job requires them to, but because it’s a passion point and an exciting space full of constant development. If an engineer or coder is not learning, they will become obsolete very quickly, and savvy tech professionals recognise that. We have an opportunity with Covid-19 to reinvent ourselves and with it comes the realisation that often adaptability is a sink or swim scenario. 2020 is about turning crisis into opportunity.
Lerato Matabola is the HR and Talent Manager at Basalt Technology.