What Are The Skills Most Requested By Companies? 

What Are The Skills Most Requested By Companies? 

The Meeting And Expectations Between Enlightened Entrepreneurs And Young Skills

On several occasions, I perceived an antithetical, latent, and implicit, rather deep-rooted dualism—almost a conflict between those who carry out an entrepreneurial activity and those who decide to look for work by offering their work. In short, this dualism permeates our culture, creating a sort of rivalry and sometimes hostility disguised as admiration or recognition. 

Yet we have witnessed, in past years, that the crisis has put the spotlight on entrepreneurs, with concrete testimonies of those who have decided to continue, despite the problems, uncertainty, and reduction in revenues, and to maintain their business for the sake of responsibility or opportunities and confidence in the future.

“I Won’t Die With Money In The Bank”

The news tells us (among others that often make more news) of entrepreneurs who, out of a sense of responsibility towards the families of their employees, meet their commitments and their mandates. Last year (it was the beginning of February), the news focused on an entrepreneur from Vicenza who, to promote the quality of life of his company’s employees, decided to pay for the nursery and schools of his employees’ children by providing a bonus in a non-episodic way (expecting it until 2025). 

His statement seems to have been, “I won’t die with money in the bank”, a sign that the value he attributes to the work done and the company he created and grew is not just an economic value. The history of our country is full of conscious entrepreneurial choices that have linked the name and destiny of companies to the territories in which they were born, restoring well-being, culture, investments, and wealth to local communities.

“Skills-Based Work”

I believe that ITS and secondary schools, thanks also to the alternation and the projects that bring them into contact with businesses and the challenges of innovation, do an excellent job from this point of view, including cultural work, allowing these worlds to be brought closer together and providing young people with the opportunity to know, understand, and appreciate the business context they wish to enter. Only with these premises can the issue of skills be addressed.

What Skills Do Entrepreneurs Look For?

If up to now we have talked about the prejudices and fears of those who approach or attempt to enter, perhaps in a somewhat naive way (spontaneously, without reflection or adequate analysis), the world of work, the difficulties, and requests are also, on the other hand, not always so clear and decodable. So, for a few weeks now, I have started interviewing entrepreneurs, managers, business experts, and business and organizational consultants, asking them what the skills and elements are that make a candidate attractive to companies (and specifically to their companies). 

Although the people interviewed have different backgrounds and rather disparate sectoral and geographical origins, the answers are very similar to each other. They are consistent with the survey results in which we participated last year, with the ITS Business Services Foundation, to identify the skills required by companies and the transformations of professional figures in the sector on a mandate from the Ministry of Education’s Survey Superior technical profiles. 

One of the consultants interviewed claims, summarizing in an exceptional way the information collected, that companies look for 40% of IT skills, project management, and project management in general, as well as English and languages, in the ideal candidate. In short, what we defined as basic skills in a previous article. The remaining 60% is a mix of problem-solving, time management, autonomy, and the ability to work in a team.

Communication And Organization Are Among The Elements Most Requested By Companies

Returning to our research and direct experiences, the managers interviewed consider it essential to pay attention to the communication skills of the candidates. Here, we range from interpersonal communication skills to written communication. The latter raises perplexity since the understanding of the text, the analysis, and the ability to re-elaborate concepts—the production of contents that follow different registers—seem to be in short supply and are no more extended abilities to be taken for granted, regardless of the title or level of study of the candidates. 

The communication skills described are added in different contexts to those linked to the ability to organize presentations (the so-called Pitches), engage narratively, prepare reports, draft emails, and social communication. In short, communication remains one of the most requested and transversally applicable elements, but with the addition of knowing how to adapt techniques and registers to different contexts. It is precisely the ability to read and interpret the context that represents another required skill: a dynamic mix of understanding and organization of information, adaptability, responsibility, and the ability to recognize one’s role in a complex system. 

Here, it seems that companies pay attention to and show interest in the power of collaborators and technicians to feel part of the organization or team, assuming and self-recognizing the importance of their contribution, value, and commitment while respecting the contributions, obligations, and values of others. In short, the ability to work in a team does not only mean organizing functions and tasks, defining times and deliveries, but also understanding how these are interconnected and assuming awareness and responsibility for the expected commitment. In other words, I am returning to connecting with others in an authentic and direct way and learning to share objectives, difficulties, frustrations, and successes.

The Critical Role Of Leadership And Soft Skills

Finally, an international management expert gives us a gift and suggests that we pay attention to leadership. According to him, in the coming years, we will witness a transformation in the skills and contents with which we today identify leadership capacity and functionality. This will partly result from a change in business and organizational processes and the flows and acquisition of information, which will require reorganizing business processes. 

If complexity increases, we need to raise clarity, organization, analysis, and redefinition of operations, and we need to turn a warning light on this! In any case, companies confirm that transversal skills make the difference in selecting a candidate! And if instructing and training are more straightforward and more immediate, training and enhancing transversal skills in a technician is a challenge that we have already accepted!

Also Read: Three Applications of Artificial Intelligence to Finance

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