Much is being written currently about Canada’s digital transformation and how the pandemic has only served to accelerate our progress along this trajectory. One of the core topics being discussed is how Canada’s workforce is going to need to develop new skills to meet the needs of employers who are digitally transforming their organizations. Not only is this being discussed but significant investments are being made both federally and provincially as well as by employers themselves to create access to skills development opportunities and incentivize individuals to develop these skills.
Less is being written and discussed about what skills are required outside of the ‘obvious’ digital skills. Through our skills signalling work (find out more here), we are hearing far more from our clients, employers in key sectors in Ontario such as energy, healthcare and advanced manufacturing, that they are AS KEEN on individuals developing competency in their human skills (we refuse to call them soft skills) as much as the digital skills.
Human skills such as communication, creativity, empathy and self awareness are in high demand. And if we consider how machines will be continuing to transform the workplace by creating new job roles as well as making others redundant our ability to compete for jobs with machines will be almost wholly centred on two things; our ability to work WITH machines (the digital skills) and the human skills that set us apart from machines and enable us to connect with other humans.
That is why all of our work at TALENT helping build talent pipelines is as focused on the development of human skills as well as digital skills and equally importantly the interface between these skills. For example, It is not enough to be technically a great data analyst if you lack the communication skills to share that data with others and help derive insights to support your organization’s goals.
One of the other aspects of this opportunity critical to us is to ensure the talent pipelines we are helping to build are full of diverse talent that really represents the human experience to its fullest extent. As organizations continue to grow in their understanding of the value of a diverse workforce and as our economy seeks to derive maximum value from its human resources through this period of digital transformation, increasing the diversity of talent in our pipelines will be critical to Ontario’s organizations’ ability to compete both nationally and internationally. Once again what makes us human and individually uniquely so is what will keep us employable in the years ahead.