Soft skills will become vital in a post-pandemic Gulf workforce due to the disruption caused by coronavirus. 

Coronavirus has increased demand for certain careers which soft skills are essential for new hires.

Jon Ede, regional director of Michael Page Middle East states that strategy and transformation, technology, digital and healthcare and life sciences are set to be the top hiring sectors for 2021.

The recruitment agency also outlined the new soft skills being sought after by companies in the Middle East as the workforce adapts to the “new normal”.

Ede said, “From our conversations with customers this year, what has become apparent is that clear communication from leaders is more important than ever, particularly around setting the direction for a course through choppy economic waters. Meanwhile, leaders have needed to keep a keen eye on staff wellbeing, whilst ensuring that communication and collaboration evolve in line with a switch to blended ways of working,”

“Leaders who not only learn lessons from the pandemic, but bring positive, long-term change within their organisations, will be future-proofing their organisations and also their own careers,” he added.

Resilience has been highlighted as an in-demand soft skill given 2020's many challenges. 

“To be resilient and strong, an individual must accept difficult situations and work with them, not fight against them. Those who possess resilience are more likely to find opportunities in adversity and emerge stronger for the experience which is crucial at a time of huge upheaval and change,” Ede explained.

Project management also made Ede's top soft skill list for 2021, saying that the new hybrid work location of office and home makes project management even more challenging. Professional intelligence and analytical skills were also on the in-demand list.

“Professionals with commercial acumen possess a strong understanding of the broader business world and an organisation’s market and environment, backed by a ready grasp of what the company needs to do to succeed."

“Ultimately, senior stakeholders want to know the potential ramifications of their actions: how can they get to the quickest commercial solution whilst taking on the least amount of risk? Key in this is not to be seen as ‘someone who always says no’ but rather as someone who enables the business to achieve its goals,” said Ede.

“Trends and data analysis are becoming more commonplace across all sectors. While  digital transformation was happening at pace before the pandemic, it has accelerated beyond all recognition for many organisations over the past twelve months."

“This has meant that businesses have needed to change their approach to data and what they do with the information they are capturing from their clients and staff members. Professionals skilled in using insights to drive sales or increase efficiencies are in high demand at the moment,” explained Ede.