The growing preference for ‘21st century skills’

REUTERS

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE proficiency and having an international outlook are among the “21st century skills” that are becoming more important in evaluating potential candidates for a position, executives said.

British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Executive Director and Trustee Christopher James Nelson, who has spent more than 40 years in international business, told BusinessWorld by phone that applicants must have an “international outlook.”

“In a sense, we’re trying to connect companies. We’re trying to grow the Chamber. That requires us to know what our members want at the same time, trying to bring new companies into the Philippines. (That requires) an international outlook,” he said.

Mr. Nelson said team spirit, though a cliché, is important for hirers.

“Because we are a Chamber… our key role is to help our members. You look very much for that team spirit and that willingness to help people. It’s that interest and enthusiasm in the areas that we work in,” he said.

Mr. Nelson highlighted the importance of being a “generalist” because Chamber work involves the “complete gamut of various matters.”

“Our members are all in different sectors. We need to have generalists, so I look for people who can research (what they need to know), rather than (specialize) in a specific area only,” he said.

Jack Madrid, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines president and chief executive officer, said cloud skills are important for those looking to work in tech.

“Cloud engineers and cloud developers are needed for AI (artificial intelligence) … Skills needed are diverse and include data analytics, cybersecurity as well as (a familiarity with) healthcare, accounting, and financial services,” he said in a Viber message.

Strong comprehension and critical thinking will also help a potential employee stand out from the rest of the talent pool, he said. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana