Want to Survive In Today's Competitive Job Market? Improve Your Skills

If companies want a hiring strategy for the future, they need to change how they identify and hire for soft skills
Want to Survive In Today's Competitive Job Market? Improve Your Skills
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Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

Finding the right talent is one of the most critical factors that can determine the potential success of your company. In today’s competitive environment, job specific skills are essential, no matter what industry you work in. There is, however, good news for job seekers possessing soft skills.

A recent study published by LinkedIn, shares that soft skills are increasingly important to 80 percent company success.

Soft Skills In Demand

“Soft skills have always been important, and they’re increasingly vital today. The rise of automation and artificial intelligence means that hard skills alone are no longer enough to be successful. And while the half-life of many hard skills is shrinking, soft skills stay relevant: a particular programming language may go out of fashion, but creativity, adaptability, and collaboration skills will always be valuable,”  the research states.

So, listen up, millennials, in today’s job market, you no longer can’t survive on hard skills. Both soft and hard skills are equally important.

Many companies still struggle to accurately assess soft skills, despite their growing value. If companies want a hiring strategy for the future, they need to change how they identify and hire for soft skills.

While hard skills may get a candidate's foot in the door, it's soft skills that ultimately open it,” said Lydia Liu, Head of HR at Home Credit China.

Why Is Creativity Important?

The study lists five soft skills companies need, but have a hard time finding in employees: Creativity, Persuasion, Collaboration, Adaptability and Time Management.

According to LinkedIn behavioral data, creativity is the most in-demand soft skill in short supply.

“While many people only associate creativity with art or design, it’s a skill that’s applicable to almost any role. Creativity is simply solving problems in original ways — a skill that machines can’t easily replicate. This trend will likely continue: a recent McKinsey study predicts that as automation transforms the skills companies need, demand for creativity will rise sharply by 2030,” the study adds.

Challenges of Soft Skill Assessment

In a typical job interview, you mostly ask the candidate about their hard skills and experience to see if they’re a fit. The study highlights that soft skills are often approached less directly. In fact, 68 percent of talent professionals say the main way they assess soft skills is by picking up on social cues in interviews. She seemed upbeat, so she’s probably a good collaborator; he seemed nervous, so he’s probably not a good leader.

“The problem is that these perceptions aren’t predictive, and worse, they’re often unconsciously biased. Unfortunately, this unstructured approach is extremely common, which is probably why so many struggle to assess soft skills accurately and consistently,” the report notes.

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