What are the trending skills for job-seekers in 2020?
Digital skills remain a priority while behavioural skills are rapidly growing in importance. Willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change, time management, collaboration, effective communication, core technical skills in growth areas like Cloud, AI, Security, IoT are critical to be relevant in today’s environment.
What is your take on the adoption of fast-emerging technologies by the companies?
Emerging technologies are turning up the heat, digital transformation isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending race track where the course keeps changing and newer, faster cars continue to enter the race. Companies are still scaling their efforts around cloud, AI & Blockchain adoption, shifts in business models to serve customers well is driving the need to be truly digital for each company in any industry to make an impact.
Taking AI into consideration at IBM, it has significantly transformed the HR function. It has complimented our Compensation, Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development People Analytics, HR shared services, making it more employee and potential hire centric and less process oriented. Managers are enabled to drive a consistent experience as well equitable decisions across job roles and geographies. AI also enables us to do a deep dive on decisions related to compensation and engagement. Various HR tools like Chatbots, etc. have digitised the process. People can now access records, approve leaves, etc. everything on mobile and that is where a big impact has been made. Lastly, our learning systems have been revolutionised with AI where this has helped us customize the content and delivery at an employee level.
While interviewing a candidate, what are the interpersonal skills you look for?
Communications, adaptability, growth mind-set, listening skills are some of the important interpersonal skills we look out for at IBM. Top skills a person needs early and throughout their career are adaptability and communication. Being able to adapt to the changing environment around them and having the communication skills to learn and ask for help when trying to adapt are very important. Emotional intelligence is one of the metrics that we try to gaze during the interviews, this helps employees not only see the attributes in themselves, but helps see the attributes in co-workers that are crucial for mental health, personal success, and success for the greater company.
Last year has been rough on economic growth as well as on the emergence of new jobs. How is your company dealing with such situations?
We always have forward looking plans to ensure we are ahead in market & technology shifts. Each year we see progress and have opportunity to re adjust the aperture to ensure we are agile and respond in a way which helps IBM be essential to our clients
The slowdown blues in the IT industry has been the talk of the town. Do you think it is true? If yes, what can be done to overcome this?
Not really, today re-skilling is a hygiene factor. We focus heavily on up-skilling and reskilling. Skills twelve to eighteen months ago are not applicable now – the bottom line is that change will be ongoing. When we hire, we look not only at how much the candidate knows, but also attributes such as adaptability to change, mind-set of growth, skills of collaboration, etc.