The 5 Most In-Demand Technical Job Skills and How to Hire for Them in 2021

by Chris Parker on 24 February 2021

In what feels like a decade but has only been a year, the pandemic has upended the world of work. Social distancing guidelines and government-imposed lockdowns forced office buildings, factories, brick-and-mortar stores, and more to go dark. This sudden shift to remote work necessitated digitization, accelerating the implementation of new technologies faster than previously thought possible.

The need to rapidly adopt new digital solutions to keep pace does not stop at the needs of the workforce. A recent McKinsey & Co. survey of global executives found that organizations have advanced digital technologies for customers and supply chain management by three to four years in response to the pandemic. The survey also found that organizations with more advanced technologies handled the demands of the COVID-19 crisis better than their counterparts.

Gartner’s recent poll found that the majority (91%) of human resources (HR) leaders report having implemented a framework for remote work since the onset of the pandemic. However, they also cited “the lack of technology infrastructure” as a primary challenge in doing so. Amid a surge in remote working, organizations’ need to invest in remote technology infrastructures has never been greater.

Cloud computing technology is the backbone of remote work. Cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing services, including software, networking, storage, and databases available online, rather than stored on an organization’s computers or servers. Organizations that delay implementing cloud computing and data-driven strategies risk falling behind more nimble competitors or innovative upstarts.

With digital transformation emerging as a top business priority in 2021, HR leaders would be wise to revamp methods for identifying talent with in-demand tech skills. Below is a brief overview of this year’s most in-demand skills and the skills assessment tests HR professionals can use to quickly and accurately identify candidates who have them.

The Five Most In-Demand Job Skills in 2021

  1. Programming: Candidates for cloud computing positions must have, at a minimum, a familiarity with programming languages best suited for cloud-based software and database management. Assess candidates’ knowledge of one or multiple programming languages with eSkill’s combinable programming skills assessment tests, including Java Skills Test, JavaScript Skills Test, Python Skills Test, SQL Skills Test, and Linux Skills Test. eSkill offers these programming Skills Tests in various versions and difficulty levels, as well as dozens of other computer programming Skills Tests.
  2. Managing data integration: Data integration across multiple platforms is a highly sought skill in cloud computing because organizations are unlikely to use just one cloud platform. Similarly, many organizations use cloud services alongside legacy onsite applications. Identify candidates with the skill sets to develop and manage data integration across multiple platforms using eSkill’s Systems Integration Engineer Skills Test.
  3. Developing and maintaining databases: Whether onsite or on the cloud, database development and maintenance is a critical skill for organizations that need to store, access, and utilize data securely. Assess candidates’ ability to develop and maintain databases using one or more of eSkill’s database Skills Tests, including Database Developer Skills Test, MySQL Database Administrator Skills Test, Oracle Database Administrator Skills Test, SQL Server Database Administrator, and SQL Server Developer.
  4. Managing networks: Since different networks work best with specific cloud services, network management is critical for cloud engineers. For example, a cloud engineer may route videoconferencing services on a particular network due to performance requirements. Identify candidates capable of managing complex networks using eSkill’s Network Engineer Skills Test.
  5. Securing the cloud environment: Ensuring that an organization’s cloud services are secure requires careful planning and attention to detail. It is not enough to secure the data itself. From employees’ smartphones to the sensors transmitting data from hospital rooms, organizations need to protect applications that use data, servers on which applications run, and devices that transmit data to the cloud. Evaluate candidates’ cybersecurity skills with eSkill’s Application Security Engineer Skills Test and Information System Security Engineer Skills Test.

In addition to these job- and skill-specific skills assessment tests, eSkill offers a comprehensive cloud computing skills test specific to Amazon Web Services (AWS) that covers AWS identity and access management, infrastructure, networking and elasticity, security, storage, and content delivery.

eSkill has the most extensive collection of customizable employment skills assessment tests in the HR industry. With nearly 1,000 “off-the-shelf” job- and skill-specific tests and thousands of modular subjects, configuring a job skills test that meets any role’s specific requirements is possible. eSkill’s user-friendly platform enables organizations to modify and combine multiple skills assessment tests easily. Select the difficulty level of skills tests, and remove or add questions to create a job skills test that is truly unique to your organization.

In addition to skills assessment tests, eSkill offers an on-demand video interviewing solution designed specifically for HR professionals and recruiters. On-demand video interviewing further streamlines the hiring process. Rather than having an interviewer present, candidates self-record responses to prerecorded questions. Doing so creates a consistent and fair interview process.

eSkill’s on-demand video interview solution also gives HR administrators greater oversight of the scoring process. The HR administrator can choose to view the reviewers’ scores and approve them before eSkill automatically calculates a final score. This increased accountability, coupled with eSkill’s built-in standardized scoring criteria, creates an objective and accurate process for evaluating candidates’ interview responses.

In addition to providing the framework for a structured interview process, eSkill’s platform improves efficiencies. eSkill’s platform automates communications between candidates and hiring teams, provides an accessible platform for hiring teams to manage workflows, auto-ranks candidates based on scores, and instantly produces detailed score reports.

The pandemic is proving to be the perfect catalyst for HR departments to undergo the long-overdue digital transformation essential to adopting modern talent acquisition methods.

Interested in Quickly and Accurately Identifying Candidates with In-Demand Skills?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s job skills tests, behavioral assessments, and on-demand video interviewing platform to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

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