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Digital skills now considered 'standard' for any role: Hays

Digital skills now considered 'standard' for any role: Hays

Recruiter warns that employees not honing their digital skills are at risk of making themselves redundant

Just one in three Australians are aware of the latest digital trends related to their job or industry despite employers viewing regular upskilling as the norm for anyone who wants to stay relevant in their role, recruitment firm Hays has found.

The organisation spoke to 1,253 professionals with 96 per cent regarding upskilling as ‘important’. But only 48 per cent do so just once a year or less.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand said upskilling shows a candidate is proactive, take 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,” he said. “Jobseekers who don’t upskill in digital regularly, to keep their skills current, are seen as out of touch.”

People today work with technology that didn’t exist two or three years ago, said Deligiannis.

“That’s the norm, regardless of your role or industry,” he said. “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 and these skills won’t set senior IT decision makers stand out from the crowd, he said.

“They’re considered standard requirements. 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," said Deligiannis.

Lifelong learning is essential to career success however it doesn’t need to involve a continuous series of expensive courses.

Deligiannis said there are several ways IT leaders can regularly upskill that won’t break the bank. 

These include:

  • Asking for stretch opportunities at work
  • Following industry leaders and thinkers on social media
  • Joining an industry or professional association
  • Setting up a peer-to-peer learning group
  • Utilising free online tutorials, on new technology and software applications.

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