There is a Chinese curse saying: “May you live in interesting times.”

Although seemingly a blessing, it’s used to mean that living in tumultuous times deprives people of their tranquility and peace. To say that the times we live in are interesting is probably an understatement. What is currently happening in the field of technology is revolutionary.

How technological development is transmittable on the job market is something that everybody is worried about. What automation will mean for certain jobs and what skills should HR professionals be looking for in candidates is a question that raises a lot of eyebrows.

Will AI help humanity achieve its full potential, or will it terminate many jobs and leave people out of work? The ideal answer would be somewhere in between. AI will become a regular part of most jobs, helping us work smarter and better. 54% of company executives said that implementing AI in their business has increased productivity significantly

Fifteen years ago, we didn’t know that a YouTube vlogger or an Instagram influencer would be considered real jobs. Using the same logic nobody today can really predict what jobs might exist in the future. The only sure thing we do know and can prepare for is the skills that will be needed to navigate through the ever-changing job market. These will include a wide range of general, adaptable skills that can be implemented across a variety of job descriptions.

This article will focus on the skills that HR and recruitment professionals should assess and try to develop future candidates.

Top Skills Assessment Principles

As a recruiting professional, you’ll have to embrace that the hiring process is changing and adapting to the new reality.

Whatever that process becomes in the future, you should rely on skills that will help your business stay ahead of its competition regardless of the circumstances. The general skills that will help people survive on the market are the ones that will mean that people can work together with technology for the best possible results and that they’re adaptable and ready for change. Here is a list of the four best skills assessment principles that you can apply to find and guide future candidates.

1.    Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Resume

Although there are so many ready-made templates and software that guide applicants on how to write a resume step by step, it’s of utmost importance that you pay really good attention to this initial phase of the job-seeking adventure.

The resume or CV is the first impression you create about your candidate even before you meet them. Going through a bunch of resumes is a very extensive and mundane task, but one that can go very wrong if not done thoroughly. To make your life easier and have better resumes at your desk, please make sure to provide some guidance when creating the job position requirements.

  • Make sure that the job post includes everything that you’re looking for in a candidate and that they know where to start when updating their resume
  • Give directions that their resume should be tailored to the job post specifically. This will allow you to select good candidates even in the initial resume screening which usually looks for general alignment with the job post in terms of experience, education, skills, etc.
  • If the task is overwhelming and there are too many candidates use automation software or a platform to help you with this initial process.

It might seem to you that you can pick a good resume even with your eyes closed, but the AI-generated templates and all the new platforms will only make this more difficult in the future. Therefore, don’t take your existing skills and ‘professional HR eye’ for granted. But instead, work on polishing them to operate in the new AI world.

2.    Get All the Automated Help You Can

Automation recruitment software and various platforms that exist today are truly amazing and can do wonders for the HR industry overall. Most of the steps of the recruiting path have been automated and there are plenty of tools available to help you tailor the hiring, onboarding, and offboarding process and those that can assist you throughout the whole employment.

To find the best-skilled candidates and not waste too much time and effort, here are some of the most common skills assessment tools you can use:

  • language proficiency tests
  • practical use of technology and digital literacy tests
  • tests for time management skills
  • adaptability tests

These are just some examples of how automated testing can be applied in various fields and for both general and very specific skills.

The important thing to remember is that although the hiring process can be highly automated, the personal touch and real face-to-face interviews are the final decisive factor in most cases. The point of these tools is to get to the top candidates and spend your time and energy on the selection of the best easily and quickly.

3.    Always Assess Digital Literacy

Developing digital literacy is probably one of the broadest skills that people can work on and develop further. Digital literacy entails a variety of skills that mainly include:

  • Feeling comfortable using technology
  • Conducting independent research on various topics
  • Teaching and helping others with technology
  • Utilizing various digital platforms
  • Finding, processing, and assessing information online
  • Adapting to new technology

Most of these skills can be summed up with the words ‘familiarity with technology’ and especially being familiar with the latest developments or even anticipation of what’s coming. Assessing digital literacy leaves an open door to future changes and implementing new ways of working.

Therefore it’s very important to assess if candidates are digitally literate. In that way, they might not know how to work with a certain program or software yet, but it would be very clear that they can learn and find their way around it.

4.    Detect and Measure Adaptability Skills

Adapting to new environments, circumstances and situations is an innate ability of all humans. The pandemic period proved this very quickly, showing us how we can adapt to unthinkable circumstances for a long time. And then when it was all over, we had to adapt back to the somewhat changed `normal` again. As a species, we did an amazing job.

Adaptability refers to the ability to accept and embrace change with ease. It’s nothing new, but what’s interesting now is that, as the world changes so rapidly people have discovered that it’s actually a skill that people can work on and develop further.

As there’s IQ and EQ, there’s also AQ (adaptability quotient) which can be measured and taken into consideration as part of your resume.

Venture investor Natalie Fratto uses three ways to measure adaptability before deciding which founder to support.

1. Using ‘what if‘ questions during interviews.

“What if there’s another pandemic and it prevents all customers from coming into your store?”  This allows employers to see how your brain simulates the future and applies problem-solving techniques.

2. Looking for signs of ‘unlearning‘.

That’s the ability to use what we already know in a completely different manner forcing our brains to adapt to new situations.

3. Looking for exploration instead of exploitation.

This is the ability of people to look beyond their current resources and their exploitation, try to explore the next step, and see what’s behind the next curve.

Once you start seeing adaptability as a skill that can be tested and developed it’s easier to work on it and use it to your benefit.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this concise and easily adaptable list we’ve put together will help you find your way easier during these exciting but also very challenging times. Sticking to assessing these general and adaptable skills will give you a solid base and a great starting point for any job position required.

Make sure you include and invite job seekers in the process by sharing how they can better prepare for what’s coming and for what they need to know. Be open about the skills that will be assessed and in what way. This doesn’t mean you’re inviting everyone to give it a try, but it rather signifies that you know what you’re looking for and you’re transparent about it.

Iskra Stojanovska

Iskra Stojanovska has been an English teacher for more than 13 years now. She is also a freelance translator, interpreter, and university professor for both. She’s currently looking for a career change and other ways in which she can make use of her knowledge of English. Content writing is a definite choice.