The six most sought-after soft skills you need to succeed
A solid base of these soft-skills can help you rise above the pack and future-proof your career.
The criteria for highly-skilled jobs is shifting, with employers assigning more weight to soft skills and cultural fit. Few job seekers promote these soft skills on their CVs and in interviews, according to Hays Recruitment, despite the demand.
“The world of work changes rapidly,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.
“Digital innovation is altering the way we operate and the skills we need,” he says. “Employers are updating selection criteria accordingly with new soft skills joining communication and organisation as essential for today’s job seekers.
Here are the top six most commonly requested soft skills, according to Hays’ Quarterly Report October-December 2017.
1. Willingness to learn
This includes self-education, such as listening to webinars and podcasts, and keeping an eye on the competition and customer feedback. Social media use can enable this, too, with following relevant topics and recommending articles to colleagues favourable, too.
“As changes occur in your industry, you must have the self-awareness needed to spot any new gaps in your skills and knowledge, and seek to bridge them,” says Deligiannis.
2. Customer focus
Businesses today are steered by customers and the way in which their consumption patterns and choices evolve. “Technology changes consumer behaviour, and organisations require employees who are in-tune with these changes,” he says.
Be it organisational, technological or skills-based, the jobs of today are in a constant state of flux. “We don’t know what those changes will be,” says Deligiannis.
“Employers want people who can move out of their comfort zone and see change as an opportunity for growth and innovation.”
4. Interpersonal and communication skills
Learning and adapting to change, and understanding customers mean nothing if you’re unable to communicate this knowledge to others. Employers still require jobseekers who possess exceptional communication skills and are comfortable speaking with people at all levels of an organisation in a professional manner.
5. Respect for the ideas of others
Collaboration and diversity of thought in the workplace encourages more innovative solutions to problems at hand. “Keep the debate on-task and professional,” advises Deligiannis.
6. Organisational skills
These remain a focus, as employers are still looking for new recruits who can effectively organise their time to ensure productivity is maximised, deadlines are met, resources are coordinated and no details are missed.
“When combined with digital literacy and relevant technical skills, a solid soft-skills base will future-proof your career in the years ahead,” Deligiannis concludes.