By Oyindamola Ossi
The term ‘War for Talent’ was first introduced in 1997 by Steven Hankin of Mckinsey and Company to describe the changing landscape and complexity in the process of attracting and retaining talent.
Twenty-three years later, the phrase ‘War for Talent’ is about to take an unexpected intensified turn with the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has disrupted major business strategies and shifted several paradigms of work, forcing organizations to quickly adapt to new realities of reliance on technology, digitalization of work and Home-Based Work (HBW).
The world is going through an unprecedented moment and most organizations are currently operating in ‘survival mode’. It is expected that the COVID-19 pandemic will last for the first half of the year, and perhaps the second half – if a second wave should indeed occur. However, after COVID-19 has run its course, organizations will need to switch their approach of ‘survival mode’ to a ‘run as fast as you can’ model to close the business and operational gap caused by the pandemic.
Let’s face it, things will never go back to the ‘old normal’. Coupled with recent predictions by experts on a new wave of War for Talent, organizations will have to leverage on highly skilled professionals to help do the following:
- Proffer solutions to garner what they might have lost during the pandemic.
- Fight to maintain their current position or win new market share.
- Discover new opportunities while translating business strategies into profitable results.
In the past, talents were mainly confined to job opportunities within their location. For instance, if you live in Nigeria, chances are that you would only be competing with other people with your skills set and in your locality.
However, with the recent increase in remote jobs and rapid adaptation of digital technology due to the pandemic, the job market is becoming fully borderless with more opportunities for talents, irrespective of demographics or geographical locations.
How prepared are you?
What plans are you making today that will, not only set you apart from others, but will also position you for the post COVID-19 career opportunities wave? Talented professionals with competitive skills will have the flexibility to compete locally and globally for job opportunities with you. How prepared are you?
In the months ahead, there will be new opportunities for top talents to leverage on; companies will be searching for skilled professionals and technical experts. To be highly competitive in this changing era of War for Talent, you will have to demonstrate key competencies by developing new relevant skills.
Malcolm Galdwell wrote in his book, Outliers, that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. Adapting this approach will be relevant to keep you ahead.
Here are some additional ways talent seeking career opportunities can leverage to stay ahead Post COVID-19 crisis:
Build relevant skills to avoid skill miss-match
While nobody can predict the future after the crisis, it is apparent that the workplace and skill organizations required will change, partly due to technological advancement and the digitization of work.
Bernard Marr predicted 8 skills that are likely to be in high demand in the post COVID-19 world:
- Adaptability and Flexibility
- Tech Savviness
- Creativity & Innovation
- Data Literacy
- Emotional Intelligence
- Critical Thinking
- Digital and Coding Skills
Develop transferable skills
Transferable skills are add-on skills that can set you apart from other talents and potentially help you stay ahead in the job market.
Examples of these skills are effective communication, entrepreneurial skills, problem solving and creativity, collaboration, innovation and team management.
Invest in your personal development
The first halve of 2020 is a free pass for some people to rediscover themselves, upgrade their skills and acquire new ones. The world is literally at a standstill for you to catch up on re-inventing yourself. Majority of the online learning platforms are providing free access to online courses, therefore making skills acquisition easier than ever. One of such online learning platform is Coursera – it is equipped with thousands of learning materials on practically all topics.
Lastly, remember that you are a talent, you carry immense value and at the end of it all, talent always wins.