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14 in-demand skills job seekers should consider

A panel of Forbes Human Resources Council members (an invitation-only organisation for senior human resources executives and leaders) recently shared 14 highly in-demand skills.

If you’re upskilling or applying to new roles, consider how you might demonstrate these attributes and areas of expertise.

Analytical ability

Whether your role is in technology or in a business function like human resources, we have so much data available everywhere. It has become crucial professionals that are able to read this data, understand it, draw conclusions and drive business decisions with it. - Amee Parekh, Uber Technologies

Data Science

Data science skills are in demand for most companies, as we are all facing the impact of the fourth Industrial Revolution to modernise operations. The recent pandemic has accelerated this shift and put pressure on companies to find this scarce resource. A focus on adjacent skills, a strong workforce and development planning will position companies well to overcome this skill shortage. - Alvin Piket, Saudi Aramco

The ability to work independently

The hiring trend we’re seeing most in 2021 is skills-based hiring rather than overreliance on a four-year degree. According to Indeed, the most highly sought-after skills in 2021 are a mix of tech skills and the skills required to work independently, both of which add up to making remote work thrive. This includes adaptability, time management, creativity and people management. - Darren Kimball, GetFive

Technological aptitude

As companies accelerate digital transformation projects, employees across industries need to adopt skills and the ability to seamlessly integrate new technologies into how they work. With emerging technologies constantly bringing change to the workforce, it’s crucial for employers to hire candidates willing to learn the latest technology to guarantee that their business is adapting and thriving. - Marina Aslanyan, SmartLinx


Resilience is a must in any role. Organizations need employees who are curious and not afraid to think outside the box. We all experience failure, but it's not the failure itself that matters—it's how we react to it. Do we sit and wallow in it or do we stand up, dust ourselves off, learn from the mistake and try again? We should all be asking interview questions to assess resilience. - Tia Smith, Collaborative Solutions

Project Management

I’m finding that regardless of the discipline or function, team members should have a good foundation in a project management approach. Many organizations get work done through projects and the ability to lead, drive and manage the work of others is important. - Trenae Forman, Black Girls CODE

Transformational Leadership

There is an incredible acceleration in organizations’ modernization efforts and digital transformation. This requires a multitude of different skill sets, but ensure success with this transformation work by improving on both your change management and transformational leadership skills. - Victoria Pelletier, IBM

Remote work skills

Many organizations have remained committed to a virtual work environment. A track record of success working remotely may soon be a differentiator. When choosing between two equally skilled candidates, it may now behoove companies to pursue the candidate with remote work experience. - Jeffrey Pietrzak, Trusted Nurse Staffing

Unstructured problem solving

As the routine elements of every job decline, the vast majority of jobs will become “nonroutine” and more “cognitive,” so solving unstructured problems will be key. Employees need to flexibly use different problem-solving strategies. They also need to search for competing alternatives before making decisions, keeping the big picture of the problem in mind while also focusing on its specifics. - Heide Abelli, Boston College

Change management

As the speed at which change occurs continues to increase, change management as a skill is extremely critical for today's and tomorrow's leaders. Effective change management skills help an organization make smarter business decisions that improve productivity and profitability and remove obstacles. - Nicole Smartt Serres, Star Staffing


Soft skills are every bit as vital to employee success as hard skills, and one of the most important is adaptability. The past year has brought challenges few would have imagined, requiring companies and employees alike to adapt quickly in order to remain profitable and productive. HR teams will remember this when hiring for future roles and target candidates who can easily adapt to change. - John Feldmann, Insperity

Self-motivation and organisation

In an increasingly remote world, the ability to self-motivate and self-organize becomes even more important for individuals and teams. For leaders, listening skills and the ability to empathize become of heightened importance also. - Robin Kirby, Benefitfocus

Digital communication skills

Based on recent changes in the way businesses are having to approach work, skills that will be most in-demand in the near future will include familiarity with various digital communication and project management platforms and the ability to work in a highly independent environment. Employers will be looking for new hires who can function in a remote work setting and stay focused with little oversight. - Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.


Grit and resilience are critical business skills in today's world. This past year has shown us that the employees who are the most valuable to an organization are those who can stay productive and focused even in the most trying of times. The good news is that these are definitely traits that can be developed through good leadership, effective coaching and experience. - Tracy Cote, StockX


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