If you work in tech, you’ll have heard about 2022’s round of hiring slowdowns, freezes and layoffs. Fintech, crypto and real estate have been the hardest hit industries so far. Within the cryptocurrency world, Coinbase, Gemini and BlockFi have let staff go, while in the Fintech space, Nuri, Curve, Freetrade and Klarna have all announced layoffs.
One reason that layoffs are happening is that firms are tightening their belts ahead of recession, but not all layoffs are created equal: some project teams get cut entirely, leaving the rest of the company unscathed. Elsewhere, costs are cut across the board, chopping heads around the business.
It’s not all bad news. According to the 2021 State of European Tech Report, Europe is still positioned as a global tech player, with a record $100 billion of capital invested, 98 new unicorns, and the strongest ever startup pipeline, which is on a level with that of the US. In the first eight months of 2021, European tech companies created value at pace, adding $1 trillion in the period.
Hiring remains robust across the Union too. The EU’s Tech Hiring Trends 2021 report stated that employers across the 10 countries it assessed (including Belgium, France, Germany Romania, and Spain) for the study posted nearly 900,000 job advertisements in the first quarter of 2021, highlighting a clear surge as many sectors move to digital environments.
This year, 28 European tech companies reached unicorn status in the first quarter of 2022 and in many countries, employment rates and job vacancies are reaching pre-pandemic levels. That is good news for job seekers, but it does pose some questions: how can you make your application stand out in a sea of similarity, and with a lot of talent back into the market post-layoffs, there’s a new need to do better.
One key way you can make changes to your CV is to make sure you are optimising it to showcase any hybrid skills you may have. Hybrid skills are a combination of both technical (or hard skills) and soft skills, and they are attractive to companies for a variety of reasons.
The Future of Jobs Report 2020 reported that the top skills and skill groups that employers see as rising in prominence tend towards the soft skills side and include critical thinking and analysis, as well as problem-solving, and self-management skills like active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. The report also estimates that 40% of workers will require reskilling, which will take at least six months, and that 94% of business leaders say that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp uptake from 65% in 2018.
It’s clear then, that if you can demonstrate that you’ve already got this skills mix in the bag, you will be ahead of the competition – not to mention future-proofing your own career. It is also completely fair to wonder why, as a tech professional, you would be hired for anything other than your pure technical proficiency.
While your hard technical abilities can’t be underestimated, having additional competencies makes you a really attractive hire. If you want to work at a tech startup, for example, you can certainly expect to require other skills in a small, hungry business where everyone is pitching in. Twenty-three percent of tech startups fail because they don’t have the right team running the business, according to fundsquire.co.uk. Here are some skills worth highlighting.
We all communicate, but some of us do it better than others. A software developer with stellar skills and the ability to create effective, engaging materials for presentation at company Town Hall meetings or industry events, who can do so in a clear, engaging manner is a great hire. Don’t underestimate the power of combining brilliant technical skills with excellent communication abilities. It’s a rare talent and one that is highly valued.
Sure, you’ve been hired to do a technical job but can you incorporate some demonstrable experience to show that you are good at collaboration, decision making, and mentoring or managing teams?
As the workplace becomes more fractured, these skills become harder to find, but candidates who have great emotional intelligence are utterly necessary. Those with great emotional intelligence are valued because they are able to perceive, reason with, understand and manage not only their own emotions but those of the people around them.
Being able to think in an agile way, come up with innovative and creative solutions to issues and apply new thinking to old problems is a great trait. Creativity is particularly useful in a start-up situation where you’ll have to move fast, and respond quickly with smart solutions if things aren’t working.
According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the demand for higher cognitive skills, including creativity, will rise almost 10% by 2030. Make sure you are making the most out of your creative skill set on your CV by highlighting the times you used creative thinking to solve business problems.