Over 50% of businesses said
they’ve experienced skills
shortages in the last year
Working effectively and
communication are the
most sought after soft skills
33% of employees would
like soft skills training
40% of employees aren’t
on a development plan
Ability to adapt to change rated as a
top skill employees want to develop
Soft skills are in-demand more than ever, especially given changing market conditions and evolving customer expectations. Over the past couple of years, businesses have had to adapt quickly, requiring employees to follow suit. It’s been important for employees to be resilient to challenges and difficult decisions but also to drive innovation with creative thinking.
“Foundational soft skills have become more important given the rise of remote and autonomous work… In fact, soft skills were featured in 78% of jobs posted globally over the last three months,” says Rohan Rajiv, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn.
According to a report by consulting firm McKinsey, companies addressing empathy and interpersonal skills doubled in 2020.
“We’re seeing more and more employers emphasise the need for communication, emotional intelligence and critical thinking in their briefs to us. As more job tasks become automated, soft skills which cannot be replaced by AI are becoming paramount”, says Abbie Soutar, Associate Director, Professional Services.
It’s therefore no surprise that in our survey data, soft skills are a priority for both employers and employees, with 50% of businesses recognising that there is a skills gap and over a third of employees stating they would like soft skills training.
What skills are employers looking for?
The top soft skills employers are seeking from employees are working with others, communication and creativity. Although not in the top three, emotional intelligence continues to be important to employers, with a quarter rating it as a key skill. There have been a number of studies which have found a proven link between emotional intelligence, job performance and career success. According to Talent Smart, “58% of success across all roles was tied back to emotional intelligence…[and when] studying high performers in companies, 9 out of 10 were gifted in this trait.”
Most sought after skills
Which skills do employees
want to develop?
Top skills employees want to develop are communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to adopt change and critical thinking. It’s no surprise employees want to further their communication skills, with more and more people working remotely. Being able to communicate effectively and stay in touch with teams has never been more important. So has the ability to adopt change and not only keep abreast of socio-economic fluctuations, but also play a key role in business development.
It’s interesting to note that although employees are looking to build their skills, 55% say that a lack of training prevents them from doing so. Something which employers clearly need to address.
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