Current affairs

Noelia García, a journalist for the El Economista

Monday, 28 de May, 2018

By Noelia García, a journalist for the El Economista

The OECD has recently highlighted the fact that Spain faces a shortage in terms of basic competences related to mathematical reasoning and reading comprehension, as well as advanced cognitive competences and skills. Meanwhile, the rate of over-qualification is high, with 22% of workers being over-qualified for their positions. Despite a high level of education, above the European average (15%), many workers do not have the competences that companies currently need.

In response to this situation, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, in collaboration with the largest business organizations and trade unions in the country, has rolled out a plan with 60 million euros in funding designed to train and improve the production community in digital competences, one of the areas in which there is the greatest shortage among our workers. This initiative will offer training in more than 400 specializations related to technological change.

Moreover, according to the conference organized by EAE Business School and APD entitled "Competences and professional skills for business digitization: New profiles and ways of working for a successful transition", organizations are already started to orient their strategies towards concepts such as liquid talent (people with large doses of essential qualities: versatility and adaptability) and cognitive flexibility (the brain’s capacity to adapt our behaviour and thinking easily to changing, new and unexpected concepts and situations) Beyond the digital profiles, companies are looking for professionals with capacities that enable them to adapt quickly and effectively to the new demands of the market.

It is not only the needs of companies that have changed, but also the profiles of the candidates. Some of the key competences in demand in today’s market include teamwork, responsibility, commitment to your career, commercial awareness, professional motivation, international experience (not only is a knowledge of languages valued, but also experience working or studying abroad can give candidates the edge), decision-making, communication, leadership capacity (particularly with respect to motivating you team, managing and leading people to achieve the company’s objectives), reliability and ethics, results orientation, problem resolution, organization and advanced technical skills. The difference between competences and skills is that the former are an effective capacity (real and demonstrated) to carry out a clearly identified professional activity successfully. However, skills involve an ability and an attitude related to the specific job and the performance of a certain position.

Other important factors include logical, rational and growing experience, consistency and humility with respect to achievements attained, and loyalty to the company. Leaders are needed who know how to manage change and anticipate the competences required. They have to be analytical and connected, as well as committed to promoting the digital culture within the organization.

The top ten competences required by a good entrepreneur, according to a report by the Fundación Telefónica and Telefónica Open Future, reveals that the most vital skills for entrepreneurs are creativity and innovation;  the capacity to imagine the future, innovate and add ever-more value; being passionate and approaching projects with enthusiasm; emotional stability and resilience are increasingly important factors in view of the situation of constant change and uncertainty that we face; flexibility and adaptability to change in a changing marking in which companies manage new projects; and a global vision, because globalization requires us to work with professionals from many different countries and with several languages. Therefore, companies increasingly value communication and public speaking skills, which have traditionally been underemphasized in the Spanish education system, but which is now a key factor in the corporate context.