By Dr. Soraya Reyes Guerrero
Director of Institutional Effectiveness UPAEP
Today’s world requires a professional capable of facing the challenges of operating in a changing, highly digitized, interconnected and very demanding environment with new personal and professional skills.
The exponentially globalized world due to the increase in online activity and electronic commerce presents new challenges to the preparation of human talent. Logistics seen as an essential activity, the need to be resilient, and the demanding intercultural interaction both in business and in social relationships are realities that impact the work environment. The traditional training of professionals is no longer sufficient to address the challenges of this new era.
Professional skills (also known as hard skills) outline the profile of a professional in a certain disciplinary field. In the professional actions of people, it is possible to clearly distinguish the knowledge of a lawyer, from that of a doctor, a marketer or an engineer. Hard skills are knowledge specific to a disciplinary field, which are learned in classrooms or in professional practice. They are clearly a gateway to job recruitment.
However, there is a set of skills that are common or should be part of the personal heritage of every professional. These capabilities (such as teamwork, collaboration, commitment, emotional intelligence, oral and written communication, among others) are known as soft skills. These are developed throughout life, nurturing both education at home and that received in the academic community.
They are highly valued skills and make up the hidden curriculum of people. The correct combination of hard and soft skills form the personal curriculum and anticipate a meritorious professional performance in whoever has developed them. But, soft skills are becoming more relevant and of greater interest in the staff selection or hiring process.
However, given the reconfiguration of jobs, the challenges of globalization that have permeated its impacts on competitiveness, and the reconfiguration that the pandemic has catapulted into business models, professionals need to reinforce their set of skills. and acquire those knowledge or skills that are now essential in a post-pandemic world.
International analyzes point out that one of the most urgent new skills that a professional today must develop is “the ability to make sense.”
This is due to the amount of information coming from multiple fronts that generates a myriad of variables that must be managed and assembled in such a way that they allow decision making. Therefore, “the ability to make sense” of information, assertively discriminating and accommodating quantitative and qualitative data is essential in a world that revolves around data mining and information management.
Competencies like self-awareness, self-motivation and social skills have been on the table for a while now; but today, with scenarios of strong emotional impact such as those produced during the pandemic and of great professional challenge such as the rethinking of supply chains, evolution of business models, fierce competition powered by the Internet, economic crises, automation of jobs and activities, etc., take on a new dimension.
Therefore, it is important to have a personal discipline that allows forging these soft skills and qualifying them with creative and disruptive thinking, qualities that are also positioned on the stage of new skills that are no longer the heart of a specific discipline, but of every professional. .
Scenarios are foreseen in the near future, where a figure close to 85% of current jobs will be replaced and 40% of traditional work activities will be replaced by digitization and remote presence. This forces us to rethink education and the preparation of human talent.
The good management of human talent is a highly strategic task that will make it easier to face the new order of commercial relations assertively and competitively. It is, without a doubt, a reason for both personal and organizational reflection, but also political and social, to make a common front in the face of the challenges that human talent faces in today’s world.