Employers are facing a conflict between the employee skills and changing workforce needs. Research among over 20,000 employees from member-based advisory company, CEB, suggests that managers need 20 per cent more productivity from their employees at a time when the instability of the current economy is impacting the corporate bottom line.

Moreover, CEB suggest that organizations are entering an age of a new work environment and that the next generation of ‘high performers’ should now be sought during the recruitment phase. High performers are nimble and adapt to change well, work collaboratively and apply judgement to the breadth of knowledge they are confronted with to ensure profitable growth for their business.

However, high performers for the new work environment are a rare gem to find – on average, only 5 per cent of employees globally have a strong combination of the skills to be high performers, according to CEB’s research. Instead, recruiters will need a new armoury to ensure that they are recruiting the high performing talent of tomorrow. CEB recommends the core competencies recruiters should be looking for from candidates include:

  1. Flexibility – Over half (56 per cent) of employees state they have experienced significant change at work in the last year. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to respond to change with little impact on their productivity
  2. Team player – candidates need to show they can collaborate well and are able to work with a range of people across their organisation. The number of people employees have to work with is rising, with 67 per cent of employees noting greater collaboration in the last three years
  3. IT savvy – candidates with technological know-how are imperative to business productivity in the new working environment, with employees working with more complex technology than before. Meanwhile, currently 99 per cent of employees say they use a form of technology at work
  4. Analytical – strong analytical skills are crucial and candidates must prove they can be decisive, objectively prioritise their workload and problem solve, particularly at a time of change. However only 40 per cent of workers who frequently use information to make decisions as a part of their day-to-day job currently have the analytical skills and business judgement required to make influential decisions

Conrad Scmidt, global research officer at CEB, said: “The new work environment demands a new set of skills to ensure employees achieve peak productivity as the working landscape changes.”

“The best recruiters will move away from traditional recruitment tactics in order to identify individuals with this new skill set. Critically, our research found that current recruitment methods mean employers are failing to recognise 65 percent of new high performers so, unless they adapt, they may struggle to continue successful business partnerships.”