As the job market continues to evolve amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report suggests that employers are looking for candidates with skills that weren’t as relevant prior to 2020, including experience in virtual customer service and safety adherence.
According to Randstad Canada’s annual career forecast for 2022, COVID-19 isn’t the only factor impacting employer priorities when hiring new workers.
The HR services company says economic pressures, evolving customer preferences, competitive markets and regulatory requirements have also forced companies to become more efficient and re-evaluate their business models.
“Again this year, we anticipate that the job seekers will be spoilt for choice if they have the skills so sought after by employers,” said Patrick Poulin, group president of Randstad Canada, in a press release.
Randstad says skills including budgeting, accounting and quality control have become “of paramount importance” to employers trying to run a successful business during the pandemic.
According to the report, the “most sought-after professionals” for 2022 are customer service representatives, salespeople and scheduling specialists, in addition to budgeting and accounting positions.
Randstad Canada’s full list of the fastest-growing roles for 2022 includes:
Customer service representatives
Repair and maintenance workers
Quality control specialists
While retail workers and cashiers were in high demand in 2021, according to the report, customer service representatives are “now more important than ever” for businesses.
With consumers focusing more on online shopping, Randstad said companies have taken notice that even just one bad experience with a brand will send shoppers elsewhere.
“This is why roles such as customer service representatives and administrative assistants have come to the forefront,” according to the report.
Randstad noted that scheduling specialists are a new role added to this year’s list due to the increased need for businesses to address safety protocols amid COVID-19.
To ensure that a work environment is safe, the report says more employers are using “intelligent scheduling software” to adhere to public health measures and still be able to cater to consumers.
“Initially, organizations were focused on making sure their workforce had the technology and security they needed to remain operational, now the focus is on the long-term need to push sales, provide best in class customer service, provide a safe environment for their employees and customers and effectively manage their budgets,” Poulin said in the release.
“From an employee perspective, this provides Canadians with the opportunity to level up, refine and repurpose skills that they may have used in previous roles,” he added.
And the latest data shows employees may already be taking advantage of this.
According to the latest Indeed Job Search Survey, the share of Canadians actively looking for work rose in December, with greater job search activity reported among those both employed and not.
Of those Canadians surveyed, 34 percent said they were actively looking for work, which Indeed economist Brandon Bernard called a “statistically significant increase” from the 28 percent reported in November.
In addition, the survey from Indeed found that both employed and unemployed job seekers were more confident in their skills to find work quickly in December, compared to November.
“The question for the months ahead is whether job search activity and confidence can remain robust through the near-term economic hit from the surge of new COVID-19 cases that began towards the end of the year,” Bernard said.
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