The Top 10 Skills Recruiters Are Looking For In 2021

Just incredible insight from a panel “in the know” on what to expect for 2021 when conducting your job search. Thank you Forbes.

The year gone by has changed the face of business almost entirely. The skills that companies now require are quite different from what they looked for a mere few months ago. Now, as the world of work has evolved into a more technological- and online-centric enterprise, businesses are searching for employees that can easily fit into this new work model.

So what skills are in high demand in the current landscape? What traits and features should job seekers cultivate to become suitable candidates for companies working remotely? To help, we asked 10 professionals from Forbes Human Resources Council to share the top skills and abilities they will be looking for in potential hires in 2021.

Photos of featured members
Members share the top career skills recruiters want to see in candidates next year. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Growth Mindset

The top skill I will continue to look for in 2021 is a growth mindset — one of our core values at drive plus curiosity. I am more inclined to hire someone who wants to learn and is flexible than someone who has all of the technical skills but lacks curiosity or flexibility. Things are constantly changing, and the way we work needs to reflect those changes. – Dominique Farnan, DotConnect

2. Continuous Learning

The top skill to recruit for is the ability to continuously learn. We know that the half life of today’s skills is shrinking rapidly, so without the ability to continuously build and hone new skills, employees will struggle to adapt in rapidly evolving workplaces. Continuous, agile learners have a better chance at prolonged success and thrive when given opportunities for learning and development. – Heide Abelli, Skillsoft

3. Critical Thinking

The ability to think critically will be crucial as we chart the course toward a post-COVID world. Businesses will continue to face challenges that will require teams to be innovative in their problem-solving and communicating frequently. – Rachel Lyubovitzky, EverythingBenefitsMORE FOR YOUStop Using Alexa And Google Assistant While Working Until You Change These SettingsHow A Former Pizza Hut Delivery Guy Used TikTok And Instagram To Build Gymshark Into A Billion-Dollar Sportswear BrandScientists Discover The Link Between Your Personality And Degree Of Career Success

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4. Survival Skills

Survival skills are at the top of our list, be it adaptability, grit or otherwise. We’re seeking people who have been bumped and bruised, and succeeded despite the roadblocks and downfalls. The drive and desire to succeed despite it all, whatever that may be, is what’s most important to us. That is an essential skill you cannot teach and is tough to vet for without any war stories to substantiate it exists. – Bryan Passman, Hunter + Esquire

5. Resilience, Curiosity

The top skills we are looking for are resilience, adaptability and curiosity. We need learners who are curious about the world around them, can easily adjust to new things thrown at them, and then have the resilience and grit to overcome obstacles and win. – Rohini Shankar, CIOX Health

6. Flexibility

Flexibility is going to be key in 2021. We’re used to the new normal by now, but it’s likely to change again just as quickly. In 2021, some things may feel like 2019, some like 2020, and some things will be brand new. We’re on an all new journey. Finding candidates that have a comfort with change and ambiguity will help you, and them, get off to a good start. – Jennifer Marszalek, Working Credit NFP

7. Dedication

Dedication is the top skill I will be seeking. I have found that we have some very dedicated employees. Through all of the COVID-19 reasons to not work, our employees showed up daily, and that is what you look for in a core team. Dedication is the key to joining our family. – Melissa Bolton, Perlon Hahl Inc.

8. Coaching Mindset

The top skill we are looking for in our teams would be a coaching mindset. As our markets change and our customers look to adapt to the new normal, we want our teams to help and coach others in various areas, thereby creating a highly connected and engaged team. The best coaches listen well, demonstrate grit, are more empathetic to their team members and collaborate well to solve hard problems. – Madhukar Govindaraju, Numly™, Inc.

9. Comfort With Ambiguity

Versatility and comfort with ambiguity in an ever-changing landscape are essential. As we’ve seen recently, businesses, business models, financial projections, and roles change virtually overnight. Those of us who’ve worked in startups can speak to this directly. Candidates and employees should be able to demonstrate how they navigate ambiguity within their roles and the overall purpose their company serves. – Faith Kibria, Milk

10. Thriving In A Virtual Environment

Seeking out talent who can thrive in a virtual environment will be critical in 2021. Contenders for remote roles should demonstrate how they have been able to stay visible in a virtual world. Visibility can include offering up a critical skill set, collaborating across teams, leveraging tech tools, offering impeccable responsiveness, being in alignment with key business priorities, promoting team success, and more. – Bianca McCann, SAP SuccessFactors