Last updated: 16.05.16

2016: The year of the hybrid job

Companies are seeking potential employees who possess both technology and people skills, with 2016 being titled as the year of the hybrid job, according to research commissioned by Bentley University.

In an analysis of 24 million job listings looking for key skills across nine industries, researchers found that employers want multifaceted workers who possess hard skills such as database technology, in addition to softer skills like communication and collaboration.

Today’s 21st-century workplace is demanding versatility, claims the report. For example, big data is becoming increasingly crucial to the success of business, and many industries are making considerable investments. 

Susan Brennan, associate vice president of university career services at Bentley University, believes that whatever the terminology used to describe such skills, employees must demonstrate deeper and broader competencies to be marketable.

"Not surprisingly, occupations pertaining to data analysis are the fastest growing today across multiple industries," said Brennan. 

"The ability to compile, analyse, and apply big data to everyday business decisions is driving major change. In the IT space, big data roles have seen a nearly 4,000 per cent jump in demand. But with the availability of data comes the requirement to analyse and visualise data."

Businesses are looking for staff that can compile, interpret, and apply data to their role and the company more broadly.

Regardless of function, staff must communicate effectively what data means, by applying it to big-picture objectives - yet this can only be achieved through collaboration and teamwork. 

The generational shift in the workplace is also contributing to the demand of hybrid skills, as large numbers of baby boomers are retiring and taking years of skills and institutional knowledge with them.

Gloria Cordes Larson, president of Bentley University said: "This makes the change in job requirements even more notable. 

“And it underscores not only the importance of effective knowledge transfer from retiring workers to new employees in the critical onboarding process, but also the need for versatile employees."