Hays UK jobs and employment blog


Why you need to start working like a specialist

By Roddy Adair, Director, Hays Personal & Executive Assistants

Covid-19 has forced a revolution in the workplace, and professionals looking for jobs may find the generalist office roles of the past more difficult to come across. Because of the new skills and expertise employers need to complete transformational projects, you’re more likely to succeed in your job search by positioning yourself as a specialist.

But if you’re in a general office administration role, how can you adapt to a specialist role? The secret is in how you identify and present your skills. 72% of office administration and contact centre employers say the skills their teams need to meet key organisational objectives have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s clear to all that the world of work is changing, with new challenges emerging every day which need to be overcome with increasingly specific skillsets.

Look at your skills and ask yourselves which you are confident enough with to present as a specialist skillset. You can ask your recruiter for help identifying your key skills and applying to more specialist office roles. Here are three areas which are seeing increased demand for specialist skills.

  1. Leadership or project management roles
    In a recent survey for our Career Insights Snapshot 2020, staff with managerial and leadership skills were most needed by office administration and contact centre employers (38%), followed by those with operations skills (33%) and projects and change management skills (27%). If you have any experience or skills in these areas, it’s worth highlighting them on any applications, as they will open more avenues for career progression.
  2. Tech support skills in high demand
    Technology is an area which has required extra support since the Covid-19 outbreak. The necessity for remote working having placed extra pressure on most organisations’ IT systems, so It’s unsurprising then that 21% of office administration and contact centre employers say they need a team with additional IT infrastructure skills. Additionally, 16% require professionals with data and analytics skills and 12% say they need a team with software development skills. If you’re confident with tech, a specialist tech office support role may be a great next step in your career.
  3. Sales, compliance and more
    Demand for professionals with more specialist skills is leading to a more compartmentalised approach to working. Instead of a team of general office support professionals taking on many roles, a mixed team of specialists in sales support, compliance support, project management support and others are becoming the face of the office, benefiting efficiency and productivity as well as presenting clearer career paths for professionals. Try branching out of your comfort zone, and highlight or retrain your skills where necessary to break into more specialist roles.  

If you’re considering moving jobs or are currently looking for your next role, consider the specialist approach, and get in touch with your local consultant for more support and guidance. If you’re ready to take the next step, search for jobs today, and start planning your future career.

About this author

Roddy joined Hays in 1999 as a Recruitment Consultant. In 2012 he took over operational responsibility for Hays in Scotland, managing dedicated teams providing expert temporary and permanent recruitment services for a wide range of sectors and professions. From 2017, he has been the lead for Hays Personal & Executive Assistants business across the UK, providing strategic leadership to over 200 consultants.


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