Pioneering within the cut-throat job market requires much more than a university degree. We can say that academic qualifications are just the iceberg when searching for gainful employment. The need of the hour is advanced employability skills development that, undoubtedly, turns the entire game upside down. Let us dig deeper and find out what the term ‘employability skills’ really connote. Alternately known as foundational skills, employability skills are sought-after attributes that have become virtually mandatory to get hired and be a success in the workplace. They are the fundamental skills that a person should possess to climb the corporate ladder. Employability skills make an employee desirable and hirable.
Employability skills comprise soft skills like efficient communication, adaptability, ability to work well with others, knowledge, and problem-solving capabilities. Moreover, they also include hard skills such as technological literacy, professional competency and so forth. Employability skills are not job-specific; instead, they encapsulate the entire job market and are a ubiquitous requirement. Also termed as job-readiness skills, they are transferable traits that are useful in every profession. Improvement in overall performance decreased work errors and collaboration with co-workers are some of the benefits of employability skills. Often, employability skills are not a part of job descriptions but deemed a default requirement by most employers. Possessing employability skills give a candidate an edge and make them stand out from the crowd.
Employability skills – why are they important?
Employability is much more than being hired for a particular job. It is an amalgamation of attributes that make a person unique and irreplaceable. Employability skills development, therefore, is crucial in the 21st century. Let us look at some of the reasons why these skills are so necessary.
Work-life exemplifies instability. The entire market can change in the bat of an eye, and all we can do is adjust. Furthermore, even without big-picture alterations, the job description and requirements in a particular post constantly evolve, compelling the employee to adapt. Having top-notch employability skills makes the entire process of adaptability smooth and hassle-free.
The best aspect of employability skills is that they are people-centric. Hence, it is in the hands of the person to explore their actual employability skills. Also, employability skills provide the much-needed return on educational investment as they help get gainful and well-paid jobs.
Lastly, educational qualifications are not enough in today’s age and age. A perfect blend of soft skills and hard skills must rise within the employment domain. Moreover, possessing employability skills like managerial abilities, digital competency, etc., enables a person to be hired in fields beyond their professional expertise. For instance, A company may employ a person with a degree in Political Science in a well-paid social media marketing position if their digital and marketing capabilities are phenomenal. More often than not, employability skills development is the route to archive such novel yet vital aptitudes.
Top three employability skills that every recruiter desires
- Communication – It is a priority employability skill desired by every recruiter. Communication is the key, especially in the professional domain that mandates impeccable and transparent written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. It is noteworthy to mention that communication not only includes talking but also listening.
- Teamwork – It is crucial for any professional setting and a must-have skill to prosper in any job. Often, a person has to work on group projects, and the significance of cooperation is paramount in such scenarios. Collaboration, conflict management, reliability and professionalism are some of the expectations of an employer.
- Initiative – Although it may seem frivolous, initiative is a highly sought-after employability skill. Taking the initiative requires confidence, problem-solving, and leadership capacities that are rare yet powerful traits. The art of initiation means that an employee can recognize the glitch, prepare for a future crisis by taking preventive measures, and take advantage of opportunities.
Ways to foster employability skills
Studies reveal that out of the five million yearly graduates in India, only one million can get employed. The painfully skewed statistics are due to the lack of job readiness. More than 50 per cent of India’s youngsters lack basic employability skills, creating a skill gap and leading to mass unemployment. Thus, the importance of employability skill development is evident.
One of the best ways to attain viable employment skills is by getting involved in internships and work-study programs. Moreover, honing technological aptitude through practical certificate and diploma courses is another optimal way to foster job readiness. Furthermore, it is advisable to take the initiative in college projects to polish soft skills like communication, teamwork and leadership. Lastly, inculcating habits such as professionalism, time management, and work ethics are undeniably very helpful in employability skill development.
Tech Mahindra Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Tech Mahindra Limited, relentlessly combines education and employability through their flagship job-readiness program – SMART – that aims to make the youth self-reliant by training them in foundational skills.
Published by neha naayar