Working on a very competitive market both in Romania and abroad, local workers need to adapt to the new challenges that technology is posing. Meanwhile, employers are interested in a highly soft-skilled workforce open to constantly learning and improving.
By Anda Sebesi
The quarterly Randstad Work monitor survey (Q3 2017), conducted by Randstad US, shows that there is a discrepancy between employers’ and employees’ attitudes toward upskilling. While over 80 percent of workers feel they have a responsibility to upskill, many US employers and employees are not taking action to provide upskilling opportunities in the workplace.
Over a third of American employees report they have done nothing to upskill in the past 12 months, where upskilling is defined as attending workshops, completing online courses, receiving consultation from a specialist, participating in personal coaching sessions or pursuing further education.
“Compared to these results, the local labour force, at least on the white-collar side, is at the opposite end of the pole: employees are watching out for opportunities to develop their talents, sharpen their skills and stay relevant in an ever-changing economy. An important motivational engine of employees is the development opportunities given by their bosses, which is still an advantage when we look at the global labour market,” says Mihaela Maranca, general manager at Randstad Romania. She adds that, from her experience with clients, mainly multinational companies with local branches, they have development programs that offer their employees the opportunity to grow both in Romania and abroad, based on their results and drive to grow. “It is an important motivation and retention tool that has had good results for years when it comes to exporting Romanian intelligence abroad,” she adds.
According to her, indicators in other countries and signals that the company has got from its clients show that employers are not interested in young people who have had excellent marks at school but lack initiative, proactive behaviour and other necessary skills on the labour market today.“The most important aspect employers look for is employees’ will and capability to learn and acquire the specific skills required by the digital characteristics of each company. Companies train their employees in emerging technology, as they know that otherwise they will lose productivity and let employee potential go to waste while at the same time potentially losing time and money,” says Maranca.
THE SKILLS OF THE FUTURE
Soft skills have been valuable in the global workforce for a while, and their importance is still growing. Workers will need to develop constantly and update their skills in order to keep pace with the new efficiencies that technology provides – honing critical skills, like leadership, creativity, problem-solving and collaboration, which machines cannot replace. As Maranca says, quoting the “Workforce 2025 – the Future of the World of Work” report released by Randstad Canada, agility is a prominent trend when it comes to workforce skills. Organizations are already hiring a broad variety of non-traditional workers who currently make up 20 to 30 percent of their workforce. In fact, more than one in four employees are freelance. Part-time workers are less prevalent than contingent or freelance workers, averaging less than a quarter of the workforce. Employers estimate almost a quarter of their staff is working virtually or remotely. Almost half of organizations are currently committed to building a variable workforce over the next five years to allow for greater flexibility and adaptability. By 2025, the majority (85 percent) anticipate that commitment to an agile workforce will increase dramatically.