Just Hired a Recent Grad? Help Them Stay a Student with These 14 In-Demand Skills

July 5, 2022 | Activate Learning | 5 min read

As the school year comes to an end and the class of 2022 makes its transition into the workforce, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve learned being in the workforce over the past few years. During 2021 and the first half of 2022, disruptions to our old “normal” remained rampant and people found themselves trying to learn new skills to bring normalcy.

For recent graduates, the skills they’ve learned throughout college will be crucial to their success, but so will their understanding of some of the most in-demand skills in the workplace – skills that may not have been on their radar a year or two ago. Making the transition from school to the workforce can be challenging with the overwhelming options and opportunities at your disposal, so aiding them in preparation through continuous learning and development is a simple yet effective way to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce and feeling supported by their managers and co-workers.

After studying Percipio data pulled together from the past year, Skillsoft has been able to identify the most in-demand skills that new grads should hone in on as they begin their post-college careers. According to the data, we found the top two journeys people sought out were on virtual work and leadership development. Out of all our content, people really wanted to understand how to work most effectively in the new “normal” virtual world, and they also wanted to know how to be a stronger leader and become more resilient – both of which skills go hand-in-hand. This speaks volumes to our learner’s priorities, as they recognize that those power skills will enable them to develop more hard skills down the line.

And while it’s likely that many college grads were forced to complete at least some of their college degree virtually, many companies have shifted to fully remote or hybrid permanently. This has forced employees to completely re-learn how to work efficiently and effectively with new and different distractions and work expectations. This has also caused leaders and managers to learn how to lead teams without being in the same physical location. While this way of work has slowly become the norm, employees, new grads in particular, will need to learn how to adjust and upskill in these areas to be able to perform at their best. If you help your recent grads you’ve hired acquire these skills soon after they enter the workforce, they’ll be be ahead of the game and you will have a stronger new hire.

According to Skillsoft Percipio data, here are the top skills that new grads might want to focus on as they start their first jobs in 2022:  

Power Skills in Leadership and Business

With continued disruption throughout 2021, personal growth and development were the highlights for top skills in leadership and business. These skills include:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Working Remotely
  3. Project Management
  4. Trust and relationship building
  5. Time management

The increased demand in power skills demonstrates people are recognizing they have more unique needs as they look to embrace the new flow of work and life. These may not always be top of mind when thinking of acquiring new skills, but they are often the most crucial to ensure you have the capacity to learn more hard skills. If you ask questions in the interview for recent grads to demonstrate these skills when applying and interviewing for a job, you’ll be able to weed out people quickly in the process. In addition, providing opportunities for your new hires to prove these skills will be important in helping to strengthen them as they grow.

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Security and Frameworks in Technology and Developer

In the world of technology, certifications and training remains a high priority as 92 percent of IT professionals have at least one certification under their belt – many of which are tied to security. However, our research also shows that 43 percent of IT professionals have workloads too large to permit training during work hours. If a recent grad has these skills already when interviewing and entering the workforce, you’ll be able to start them on projects right away that require this knowledge versus having to train someone. The most in-demand skills for technology and developer include:

  1. Cloud Security
  2. API Security
  3. Agile Basics
  4. Scrum

Security skills have risen in demand and importance this year, showing how crucial understanding security is in the current workforce. However, so is learning new and more productive ways to work both as an individual and on a team. These skills in particular are becoming increasingly relevant outside of the tech space as they provide a structure framework for project management and, in a workforce that is no longer seeing each other every day, tools to enhance project clarity are key to success. Consequently, understanding the inner workings of agile and scrum is quickly becoming far more crucial for job seekers.

Safety and Security Measures in Compliance

If you are involved in the compliance world, it should be no surprise that safety and security are at the top of the in-demand skills for people in this industry. This year, we saw a 120 percent increase in compliance content hours consumed by our learners. There was a particular uptick in concern for cybersecurity and workplace safety. To ensure that employees are safe and taken care of, both the individuals and the organizations need training in place and accessible, so they understand their roles and the expectations and options for them if something goes wrong. Some of the most in-demand skills in this area include:

  1. Global anti-bribery
  2. Global cybersecurity basics
  3. Hazard communication
  4. Harassment prevention
  5. Fire and safety prevention

While these cover a wide range, they are skills employees and employers are actively seeking out and they slowly become more commonplace in every work organization.

Graduating and entering the workforce can be daunting and overwhelming, but by discussing what skills are in high-demand with recent grads and being specific about what you are looking for when hiring will make the process for both you as the hiring manager and the recent grad far simpler. There are skills in this list that are applicable for any role or any industry, whether you are in a technology field, marketing, or you’re a teacher. If you spend a few moments explaining the importance of these new skills now, you’ll better set yourself and your new hire up for success. Congratulations to the class of 2022! We hope you continue to #stayastudent, with Skillsoft Percipio helping you to navigate your L&D journeys.