EBOOK

15 Skills of the Future and How to Assess Them

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the world – and the world of work – can change quickly and dramatically. The skills and competencies of yesterday are no longer as relevant to today’s work environment, let alone the future.  

New skills are emerging, driven by technological advances and the emergence of remote and hybrid workplaces as standard, as well as rapidly changing social and economic forces. Given these trends, employers cannot afford to stand still when populating their workforces with skilled, and reskilled, employees

In October 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released the third edition of their Future of Jobs Report, examining the most important skills employees should possess by 2025. They estimate that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, with more than 85 million jobs being displaced and a further 97 million emerging, as a result of new ways of working between humans, machines, and algorithms.  

Unsurprisingly, enduring skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, which have been consistently on the list since 2016, also top the list of skills that employers believe will remain critical in the next five years. New skills are emerging in importance such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility; while more technical skills such as technology design and programming have risen in prominence in this latest release.  

Articulating the skill requirements of the future is one thing. But equally important for employers is knowing how to identify their prevalence amongst new hires. This eBook outlines the WEF’s top 15 skills for future employees and how you can objectively assess them using valid, science-based psychometric assessments and structured interviewing. It contains links to detailed information on the most relevant assessments for each skill and structured interview questions to provide a strong talent signal for your candidates and assess the skills of tomorrow, and today. 

 

What are the most important skills of the future for employees to have?

  1. ANALYTICAL THINKING & INNOVATION: Ability to handle complex problems or information and consider alternative or novel solutions to problems. Assess with cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. ACTIVE LEARNING & LEARNING STRATEGIES: Commitment to continuous learning; understanding how to learn effectively and choose the method best suited to the task at hand. Assess with cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. COMPLEX PROBLEM-SOLVING: Developed capacities to solve novel ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings. Assess with cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. CRITICAL THINKING & ANALYSIS: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, and approaches to identified problems. Assess with cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. CREATIVITY, ORIGINALITY & INITIATIVE: Ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas, or to develop novel approaches and ways to solve a problem. Assess with cognitive aptitude, workplace behavior, and workplace alignment assessments. 

  1. LEADERSHIP & SOCIAL INFLUENCE: Ability to motivate, develop, and encourage people at work through leadership; shaping and influencing the views and behaviors of others while considering the individual and social consequences of doing so. Assess with emotional intelligence and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. TECHNOLOGY USE, MONITORING & CONTROL: While largely a “hard” skill, successful performance requires the ability to identify the best technologies to solve problems and an openness to new technologies and untried methods. Assess using technical skills tests, as well as cognitive aptitude, productivity and risk mitigation, attention skills, and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. TECHNOLOGY DESIGN & PROGRAMMING: Designing effective technological solutions and programming skills. Successful performance also relies on factors such as openness, creativity, conscientiousness, and a deep understanding of the user experience. Assess with technical skills tests, as well as cognitive aptitude, workplace behavior, attention skills, and emotional intelligence assessments.  

  1. RESILIENCE, STRESS TOLERANCE & FLEXIBILITY: The ability to recover from setbacks, to effectively deal with difficult and stressful work conditions, and adapt to continually changing circumstances Assess with emotional intelligence and workplace behavior assessments. 

  1. REASON, PROBLEM-SOLVING & IDEATION: Analyzing problems in depth and evaluating alternative solutions; coming up with novel and effective approaches. Assess with cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they act as they do. Assess with emotional intelligence and workplace behavior assessments. 

  1. TROUBLESHOOTING & USER EXPERIENCE: Accurately identifying and solving technical issues, focusing on a user-centric approach. Assess with technical skills tests, as well as cognitive aptitude, workplace behavior, and emotional intelligence assessments.  

  1. SERVICE ORIENTATION: Actively looking for ways to help people; anticipating, recognizing, and meeting others’ needs, sometimes even before those needs are articulated. Assess with workplace behavior and workplace alignment assessments.  

  1. SYSTEMS ANALYSIS & EVALUATION: Strategically evaluating methods and systems for achieving outcomes; synthesizing and integrating information to understand patterns and extrapolating knowledge across new domains. Assess with technical skills tests, as well as cognitive aptitude and workplace behavior assessments.  

  1. PERSUASION & NEGOTIATION: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences; persuading others to your point of view. Assess with emotional intelligence and workplace behavior assessments. 

 

#1 ANALYTICAL THINKING & INNOVATION  

People who can break down detailed, complex information or challenges and reach new conclusions driven by well-considered and strategic views are displaying strong analytical thinking and innovation skills. People with this skill often pay close attention to detail and engage in critical analysis, which includes the ability to identify potential issues, critique processes, and suggest solutions.  

Assessing Analytical Thinking & Innovation  

Cognitive aptitude testing is an accurate and reliable predictor of future job performance in the majority of jobs. People with higher levels of cognitive ability are better able to analyze and evaluate alternative approaches to problems, and to predict the potential outcomes of various strategies. They’re able to take the pieces apart and put them back together in new and different ways and can come up with original solutions to problems 

Workplace behavior assessments can help you identify people who have the behavioral traits and characteristics needed to perform well in roles that require analytical thinking and innovation. These people are likely to take a critical and evaluative approach to information and are proactive in solving problems. They’re comfortable analyzing extensive data sets, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations based on the analysis. People who tend to take a proactive and creative approach to solving problems and who continually seek to make improvements are also likely to engage in innovative ‘out of the box’ thinking. 

 

Interview questions to assess Analytical Thinking & Innovation 

  • Describe a time when you had to investigate a complex problem. What steps did you take? What information did you gather? 

  • Describe a time when you had to critically evaluate information and identify possible weaknesses or flaws. What steps did you take? 

  • Describe a time when you turned a problem into an opportunity to improve a product or service at work. What did you do? What was the outcome? 

  • Describe a time when you came up with a new idea or concept that had a positive impact on your workplace. What was the idea? What impact did it have?