Last month, BML Munjal University (BMU), Manesar, Haryana, launched the ‘Future of Work & Human Challenges’ report, highlighting how the future of work will be increasingly shaped by technology. Surveying HR leaders, it noted that half of them said they need to address the skill gap in technology roles, the importance of soft skills cannot be overemphasised, and 49% said that moonlighting is acceptable as long as it is declared. Jaskiran Arora, dean, School of Management, BMU, shared from the survey that we need policies to facilitate moonlighting, rather than fight it, in an interview with Vikram Chaudhary.
Why does the world of work need such surveys?
We feel that we must take the lead in addressing issues that impact the society. The ‘Future of Work and Human Challenges’ survey is in line with this. We commissioned research with over 250 industry executives, interviewed over 15 academic and industry leaders, and collaborated with TeamLease to know more about the future of work and how it is going to take shape in India over the next five years.
What are the most eye-opening highlights from the survey?
One, external risks may impact the future of business and the future of work, and corporates are worried about global risks, pandemics, wars, etc.
Two, it’s the experienced employees who will drive the future of work. Freshers are no longer the top hire; experience is required to navigate the future of work.
Three, corporates are ready to reward and recognise efforts, and not just performance.
Four, meta skills—the foundation for developing, cultivating and executing other skills—are the future of work; learning to learn, unlearn and relearn is a key skill. For example, the ability to communicate in English is a specific skill, and knowing how to develop the skills to learn any language is a meta skill.
Lastly, moonlighting is the future of work, and we need draft policies to facilitate it rather than fight it.
How crucial are soft skills for students to be workforce ready?
As many as 72% of HR leaders in our survey believe that technical skills will become redundant in 2-5 years, and 28% believe that soft skills also face the same challenge in the rapidly changing workplace. That is why the need for reskilling has emerged as a very high priority for market leaders and this trend is going to be similar in the future of work settings as well. Also, 84% of HR leaders argue that higher education institutions must take more responsibility towards making students ready for the workplace.
What are the top skills recruiters are looking in job applicants?
While the required skill sets vary vastly basis the job description, skills vital for any and every role are communication and interpersonal skills, time management and decision making, the ability to connect dots, and proactivity. One skill that is gaining a lot of attention is learning agility—your ability to learn, unlearn and then relearn is the way to go.