In the last 200 days, the world has fundamentally changed. As individuals, the manner in which we work, shop, consume information/entertainment or study/learn; everything has shifted to new and unconventional methods of functioning. Even businesses have seen a paradigm shift across all functions, from operations to employee management. As businesses have changed, their requirements, especially from the manpower front, are also different now.
One of the key industries to talk about in the current situation is the e-commerce sector which has seen accelerated growth in the last few months, especially companies operating in essential services like medicine, grocery, household essentials. This is primarily because of the major shift of consumers to online shopping, due to social distancing norms and COVID lockdowns. In fact, the online grocery/household essentials segment has grown at an unexpected high rate in the last few months and it won’t be a surprise to see it growing further in the coming months. Increasing consumer demand coupled with a strong growth trajectory has led to the need for more talent in the e-commerce sector. Companies are looking for specialized skill sets and candidates who are agile and flexible to quickly adapt to the changing norms. We are seeing the emergence of many focused skill sets which are going to be in demand for quite some time.
Employee Well Being….
One of the most unique profiles which have become very prominent is mental health counsellors. As work from home is becoming a new normal for companies, the risk of employees feeling isolated, depressed, and demotivated has also increased. But the good thing is that companies are taking cognizance of this and hiring counsellors who can help their employees to manage conflicts, adversities, disconnect and any other issues that they are facing. Not just this, companies who have resumed work back in the office, there is an increase in demand for In-house nutritionists as well as health advisors. This is primarily to manage employee health and boost their immunity, amidst the new working regime under social distancing.
Technology on the forefront…
Needless to say, digitization has become very crucial for all enterprises, a push is driven by need rather than choice. COVID has fast-tracked adoption of technology across sectors nearly by 80%. In the e-commerce industry, where consumer traction has increased across platforms, companies have been strengthening their front end & back end tech- enterprise. Thus, there is a 40% increased demand for UI, UX developers, web designers, VR experts, AI designers and experts, infrastructure architects, cybersecurity experts and special analysts. Demand for data analysts/data scientists has also increased. Additionally, on the core technology building side, companies are also hiring candidates for roles like security operations (SecOps), network operations (NetOps) and development operations (DevOps).
Furthermore, as e-commerce companies work towards creating a niche for themselves in terms of consumer engagement, platform user interface, brand offerings and other functions, they are also hiring language experts. Some of the in-demand languages currently are Python and Swift. Python has become more popular and in demand, as they enable companies to experiment with 2D imaging as well as 3D animation packages like Blender, Inkscape, and Autodesk. The language experts are helping companies to reduce the coding burden on developers.
Sales & marketing in the new world …
Thousands of consumers have now shifted online – and there are multiple service providers in each category. Thus, acquiring and retaining consumers in the post COVID world is going to be strikingly different. A lot of players are seeking out digital marketing experts who can also manage sales. This trend is gaining momentum in the retail space. Traditional sales professionals will no longer be sufficient. Thus, re-skilling and up-skilling oneself will be key in this industry.
Apart from this, employees will also need to hone softer skill sets, especially skills like communication, conflict resolution, creative thinking, understanding team dynamics etc.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we need to understand change instantly and adapt to it in almost no time. Companies see a lot of merit in such employees. Organizations have realized that to future proof themselves from such a crisis they should build a workforce with diversified skill sets. They now want employees who have transferable competencies/skill sets and can smoothly transition from one project/department to another. The future of work will be a new one, and employees must stay ahead of the curve in order to stay relevant.