It used to be that different kinds of companies needed different kinds of people. A hiring manager at a shipping company would never cross paths with a media company headhunter.
But over the last decade, as technology has transformed every company and every competitive dynamic, those lanes are suddenly merging. While the ability to lead, collaborate and communicate are still critical to landing a job, it's having experience in the latest technical skills that will get hiring managers at the top companies clamoring for your attention.
That's what I heard after interviewing human resources leaders at 25 of the 50 LinkedIn Top Companies in the U.S. These HR heavyweights — spanning industries from technology and finance, from management consulting and media — all want the same thing: people with experience in machine learning, cyber-security, data analytics and cloud technology. And the most in-demand roles: engineers and data scientists with these skills.
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"Bleeding-edge technology skills are relatively scarce and highly sought after," said Karla Samdahl, Cisco's global head of executive talent acquisition.
As new technologies like predictive analytics and artificial intelligence take hold, companies are having to seek out talent that enables them to keep up and stay ahead.
"We are looking for software engineers and data scientists — change agents who want to tackle the transformation of digital commerce enabling payment via taps, dips or swipes on smartphones, tablets and even cars and appliances," said Visa's Executive Vice President of HR Michael Ross.