Regular digital upskilling expected in jobseekers

One in three New Zealanders are aware of the latest digital trends relevant to their job or industry.

One in three (35 per cent) New Zealanders are aware of the latest digital trends relevant to their job or industry, despite employers viewing regular upskilling as the norm for anyone who wants to remain employable in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

That’s according to a survey by recruiting experts Hays, which found that while 96 per cent of the 1,253 professionals surveyed regard upskilling as ‘very important’ or ‘important’, almost half (48 per cent) do so just once a year or less.

This is despite three-quarters (77 per cent) of the 951 employers Hays also surveyed admitting that they’re more likely to shortlist a candidate who upskills regularly.

They say upskilling shows a candidate is proactive, takes their development seriously, is genuinely interested in their field and is willing to put in the effort to stay up-to-date.

“Digital skills are now considered standard competencies for any role,” says Adam Shapley, managing director of Hays in New Zealand.

“Any jobseeker who doesn’t upskill in digital regularly to keep their skills current is therefore seen as out of touch. We’re certainly seeing a constant learning mind-set becoming a standard soft skill requirement in many job descriptions.”

The reason, according to Hays, is that people today work with technology that didn’t exist two or three years ago.

“That’s the norm, regardless of your role or industry,” explains Shapley. “Employers expect professionals to keep up with the latest technology and digital trends relevant to their job or industry.”

“Digital skills are no longer viewed as nice-to-haves. They won’t help you stand out from the crowd anymore. Today, they’re considered standard requirements and any candidate that hasn’t made upskilling a regular component of their weekly or monthly schedule will be at a serious disadvantage when looking for their next job.”

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