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Preparing for tomorrow’s skills today

Allen Associates, News & Blog

The last decade of digital transformation has seen the career prospects of Candidates in just about every sector shift significantly. As new expectations are born from new capabilities, the skills and strategies employed by organisations across the globe have continued to evolve.

While so-called digital natives may have a head start, even the meaning of the word ‘digital’ has changed considerably from the early days of social media. In this state of flux, new roles and new requirements that don’t exist today will soon become the standard for ambitious job seekers.

This was highlighted in the latest report titled “The Future of Jobs” by the World Economic Forum, which revealed how 14 per cent of existing jobs could disappear as a result of automation in the next 15-20 years, and another 32 per cent are likely to change radically. Even just five years from now, more than one-third of the skills that are essential for today’s workforce will have changed. With this in mind, the greatest asset a Candidate can have in future-proofing their career is agility. By anticipating the direction that your discipline will move in a fast-changing environment, you can prepare your CV for the next phase in the digital age.

Preparing for tomorrow's skills today

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Marketing skills for the future

In the field of marketing, technology is the single largest area of investment, with digital tools accounting for 29 per cent of a Chief Marketing Officer’s dedicated budget. As such, the competencies of a highly-sought after Candidate have progressed to include digital aptitude across a number of channels. As industries have embraced disruption, businesses have discovered the immutable need for Employees equipped with the digital skills necessary to give them the edge in a fast-paced technological arms race.

The ‘new’ skills we will see on millennial CVs

The range of digital marketing techniques needed to engage audiences across the customer lifecycle today have become a complex web of critical components including search engine optimisation, Pay-Per-Click advertising, content marketing, social media, personalisation, click-rate optimisation and retargeting strategies. An ability to quickly learn your way around a sales and marketing dashboard or content management system is essential for the modern marketer.

However, in the age of automation, Candidates who can harness intuitive software to attain business goals faster and more efficiently will naturally be favoured by Employers. To meet the demands of an always-on society, marketers will need to have a firm grasp on how to take advantage of automation to engage customers during hours of need and deliver personalised experiences primed for healthy conversions.

At the intersection of strategy and design

While agencies will typically seek out specialists, in-house marketing roles are increasingly demanding skills typically associated with related disciplines such as design and data analysis. Being able to marry a metrics-driven approach with a creative flair makes for a highly attractive marketing Candidate - particularly in SMEs who rely on small marketing teams to achieve their objectives.

Cutting through the digital noise

In an increasingly competitive landscape, it’s no longer enough to simply “know” social media if a company is to stand out. Brand building in the digital age requires talented strategists and creatives to get to get to the heart of customer demands and make the right impression with targeted content.

Candidates seeking to land a job in social media management, therefore, would be wise to work on the promotion of their own personal brands to showcase their capabilities. Keeping an updated blog on industry trends demonstrates to an Employer that you walk the walk and are prepared to research your target demographic to inform your content.

A fast-changing jobs landscape

According to a poll of 8,000 senior marketing and sales professionals across Europe conducted by Oracle, 48 per cent of brands have already implemented automation technologies in sales, marketing and customer service with another 40 per cent planning to do so by 2020.

Their study revealed that a staggering 78 per cent of brands expect to provide customer experiences through virtual reality in the next four years, while 80 per cent will have deployed chatbots for customer interactions by 2020.

The development of digitally-oriented roles

Digitisation has taken the competition into new territory. While advancement in these areas naturally leads to concern as to whether automation will eventually replace the human workforce, the outcome of digitisation so far has simply seen the creation of new and different jobs. Already, the role of the Digital Marketing Executive has become a mainstay in the modern jobs landscape, as has that of the Chief Digital Officer and Digital Strategist.

The emergence of data-centric positions

The immense value of data in the digital world has given rise to specialist roles within business whose remit is to make sense of large swathes of information and uncover the story within. Given the mountains of data created from online touchpoints as well as mobile devices and the IoT, the role of an analyst in the future will be key in extracting the insights necessary to fuel competitive business decisions.

Taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Marketing is much too nuanced to be replaced by AI – instead, the development of Artificial Intelligence will simply aid in enhancing processes and improving outcomes. At present, most organisations seek an ability to have a pulse on behaviours and opportunities from their marketing team. As a Candidate looking to future-proof your career, familiarising yourself with the current tools that assist in turning AI-driven data into actionable customer insights will stand you in good stead when approaching the jobs market.

EQ: tapping into the mood of the market

Moving forward, the jobs a CMO will ask their HR department to fill will combine a mix of specialist technical skills and the emotional intelligence only a human can provide. Understanding how a customer instinctively feels about your company requires a marketing team that is equipped with the optimal blend of empathy to understand how to elicit a certain response from their target demographic. The result? A boost in engagement that has been engineered through the combination of data analysis and emotional intelligence.

Preparing for impact

Already, the digital age has disrupted labour markets and irrevocably changed the nature of work. As technology has paved the way for a hyper-connected society, new patterns of work have emerged that have thoroughly challenged the status quo and inspired a new era in Employment.

In this rapidly changing economy, Millennials and members of Generation Z are increasingly recalibrating their career paths to adapt to the landscape. Advances in technology mean that many jobs are disappearing or evolving, while the concept of a ‘job for life’ seems to be floating further into the past.

The rise of the “Slasher” career

For a growing number of professionals, the modern working environment allows for the pursuit of multiple career paths at the same time. If this sounds familiar, you might be one of the growing number of “multipotentialities” or “slashers”. This is a term coined by Marci Alboher, author of One Person/ Multiple Careers in 2007, to describe the ‘slash’ in the job title of someone who has more than one role at the same time e.g. graphic designer/web editor.

Developing a skills portfolio for the future

The key benefit of this multi-pronged career path as cited by “slashers” is the diversity they receive in their professional lives as a result and the ability to develop in-demand skills in a number of areas. In taking on two sets of responsibilities in different disciplines, the threat of job loss as a result of technological advancement is minimised.

The concept of taking on two jobs at once may not be new, but rather than a case of working late shifts to meet ends, slashers tend to be motivated by an entrepreneurial spirit and/or an ambition to cement their value in the workplace in the face of a shapeshifting jobs market. This was recently illustrated in a study by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), which revealed that more than 320,500 self-employed people in Britain have two or more jobs.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of your market

Building the digital and socio-emotional skills necessary to land a job in the new world of work is facilitated through the use of specialist recruitment consultants, whose job it is to keep track of the most sought-after skills in their target industry. Every day, professional recruiters assess the talent requirements of modern businesses – as such, they are perfectly placed to advise you on which areas you should be focusing your attention on both now and in the future.

Executive Summary

The modern jobs landscape reflects the transformation our society has undergone. Today, competitive businesses recognise the need to foster digital thinking and put technology at the heart of their strategy – whether to enhance operational efficiency or take advantage of new platforms to engage their customers.

Creating a strong value proposition as an Employee in an era characterised by fast-paced change requires Candidates to look not solely at what Employers today are seeking but what those of tomorrow will expect.

At Allen Associates, we help Candidates to put their best foot forward in the job hunt and secure a role that truly reflects their ambitions and key priorities. For the last 20 years, our business has grown to become a leading independent recruitment agency with offices in Oxfordshire, and London. No matter the size of your business or how specific your needs with regard to personnel, our specialist recruitment consultants are well-equipped to advise and assist you in talent acquisition.

To talk to a member of our team, click here for more information or contact us on:

Oxford: 01865 335 600

London: 0203 800 1920