Workforce Trends: Closing The Skills Gap

Workforce Trends: Closing the Skills Gap

Workforce Trends: Closing the Skills Gap

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Updated July 20, 2022

The world is changing, and the way we work is too. Managers need to pay attention to the current hiring trends and prepare their companies for the future. As the US economy and workforce face constant fluctuations, it is essential to understand what’s happening globally and adapt accordingly.

As two years have gone by since the start of the pandemic, some recruiting trends have stuck around in daily jobs and, most importantly, in the hiring process. Through trial and error, things have been fine-tuned to move the whole shebang as smoothly as possible, allowing hiring authorities, recruiters, and candidates to connect.

During the SHRM Talent Conference & Expo 2022, a panel of top senior hiring authorities discussed the lessons learned on hiring and retaining top talent, the skills gap, and supporting new hires in developing their skill set.

Hiring trends to keep an eye on

  1. Training talent 
  2. Add a human touch to recruiting
  3. Focus on candidate experience

The demand for skilled talent is not ending soon. With the current world economic twists and turns, companies are adapting to an ever-changing digital world

Hiring for the future

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals believe skill gaps to be the biggest concern when acquiring talent. We’re beginning to see a shift in the skills companies look for in candidates.

For the last few years, we’ve focused on technical skills or hard skills, like computer programming and data science. Still, according to Deloitte, soft skills will be a prerequisite for two-thirds of the jobs by 2030. Deloitte’s study also revealed that “the average worker is missing around 2 of the 18 critical skills advertised for a job.” Back in 2010, the average worker lacked 1.2 of them. So, how can we close the skills gap and be sure that our companies are ready for the future workforce? By hiring the right talent with the right set of skills.

Top set of skills employers should look out for

  1. Emotional intelligence
  2. Creativity and innovation
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Tech and data savviness
  5. Adaptability

Emotional intelligence

What’s emotional intelligence? In short, it’s the ability to understand and manage our emotions while also knowing how to handle our interaction with someone else’s. Organizations have been paying attention to this skill for a while, but now, it’s reaching new popularity levels since the rise in mindfulness and self-awareness trends, as it can be a good indicator of work ethic. Embracing the ups and downs of human emotion in the workplace has its benefits, like better collaboration among employees and a happier workplace, according to Rex Huppke.

Other benefits of hiring employees with emotional intelligence for expanding workplaces and teams can be that they demonstrate:

  • Self-awareness
  • Receptiveness to criticism
  • A less toxic environment
  • Clear communication

Creativity and innovation

Creativity boosts innovation, which leads to economic growth. Organizations need problem-solvers and forward-thinkers who can turn things around for the better. Fresh and unique solutions are the key to competitive and outstanding companies. According to LinkedIn, creativity is the most demanded soft skill of the future.

Creativity is not an exclusive trademark of artists, so look for it in accountants as much as you do in copywriters! 

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the act of gathering, analyzing, and evaluating information and taking action or applying a solution based on that. Good critical thinkers can work independently and in groups. They are the ones that help businesses run smoothly in times of both growth and crisis. According to the World Economic Forum, one in three jobs requires complex problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Companies need people who are not afraid to think outside the box and come up with new ideas based on their market, company, and team insights.

Candidates that are developing their critical thinking skills must:

  • Question assumptions
  • Synthesize information and key take aways
  • Recommend a plan of action
  • Execute the plan

Tech and Data savviness

The 4th industrial revolution is changing our world and how we do business by introducing different technology trends to our lives. Everyone needs to understand these technologies, how they are evolving, and what that means for their business. For instance, learning to analyze data is essential to make strong and thoroughly informed decisions that improve companies’ ROI and growth.

Some of these new technologies include artificial intelligence, big data, extended reality robotics, programming languages, the internet of things, 3D printing, and blockchain technology.


As human beings, we need to continually adapt and learn new things; what we know today will be outdated in a couple of years, maybe even months. We must prepare for the future by embracing change and updating our skillset. Look for candidates who eagerly take on new ideas and concepts since they are likely the ones who will thrive in the face of change and challenge.

Ready to close the gap?

As the world keeps evolving, we will notice how these skills become far more instrumental for organizations. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start acquiring talent that showcases some or all of these skills and get your most valuable employees to work on the ones they haven’t developed. Prepare your business for the challenges of the future starting now.


Contributed by Monica Martín del Campo & Ana Martinez

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