Despite today's AI-enabled, information-rich tools, the human factor has never been more important in the workplace, according to Jane Kennelly of Frog Recruitment.

"The soft skills needed to succeed in business, regardless of industry, are constantly evolving, which means that the skills required to secure a fantastic job in 2015 are not the same skills needed to succeed in 2020."

That change affects employers too. They need to be nimble thinkers and better communicators as they adapt to new technology and manage more remote workers.

"We are filling jobs that didn't exist a decade ago; job titles like innovation manager, data insight analyst and customer experience manager are in demand, while existing roles, like an executive assistant's, have evolved significantly over the past decade to embody new and essential skills to support their teams and the technology they use," says Kennelly.


"By widening your repertoire of skills you are safeguarding your future career."

That change also involves academic qualifications, which she believes are becoming less important to today's employers.

Large global organisations such as Google, EY, Costco, Whole Foods, Hilton, Apple, Starbucks and IBM no longer require a degree for their roles.

"Large global organisations such as Google, EY, Costco, Whole Foods, Hilton, Apple, Starbucks and IBM no longer require a degree for their roles. Our world is changing at a rapid speed with new digital technologies emerging constantly. Employers today are aware qualifications obtained in 2015 may not necessarily be relevant for a position they may be in today."

A recent report from the World Economic Forum found that the most in-demand occupations or specialties did not even exist 10 or even five years ago.

"Today, there's a move for employers and career seekers to tune into their soft skills. These skills have never been a focus for university learners, despite recent research highlighting why soft skills are considered a key ingredient for a successful career. Supported by the fact that hard skills are easier and faster to learn than soft skills, we can see why businesses are leaning towards hiring 80 per cent on culture fit and 20 per cent on skills."

Similarly, she believes mature workers need to stretch their comfort zone and keep learning but their experience and life skills do set them apart from their younger colleagues.

"Given the mature workforce is — and will be — significant in the employment mix of our businesses, this resourceful bunch, who have navigated many changes over their working lives, need to ensure they have the tools required to keep up with the play, because keeping skills relevant will pay dividends.

"Already adept at seeing the big picture and armed with their 'older and wiser' approach, the resilience mature workers possess has reached the ears of employers, who realise that retaining older workers is a savvy plan to have in place."


The new world of work

1. Complex problem-solving

Handling significant problems and issues and figuring out how to solve them without breaking into a sweat.

2. Critical thinking
Approaching new technology critically and being able to adapt is a coveted skill for navigating future work. Employers are looking for people who are effective thinkers and ask the right questions while questioning assumptions.

3. Creativity
Building inspirational rituals, finding creative inspirations, having fun and building networks.

4. People management
Leading people with open communication, fairness and emotional intelligence will glean the best results from your team.

5. Co-ordinating with others
Working well with others and adopting a collaborative mindset ensures inclusion and leads to more cohesive executions.

6. Emotional intelligence
Judging your own moods and needs, as well as being responsive to the needs of others. Staying cool, managing stress and being assertive.

7. Judgment and decision-making
Being confident in decision-making and ensuring those decisions are solid and well thought-out.

8. Service orientation
This is a top priority for businesses that need people focused on providing high levels of customer service. Consistent service performance secures customer and client loyalty.

9. Negotiation
Negotiation suggests a willingness to compromise and find solutions that work for all parties. The ability to prepare and think clearly under pressure while expressing persuasive thoughts clearly is key.

10. Cognitive flexibility
The mental ability to face new and unexpected conditions in your environment will keep your business nimble and resilient to rapid change.
Source Frog Recruitment