Soft Skills Are Increasingly Crucial To Getting Your Dream Job
Employers Struggle To Find Candidates With The Right Soft Skills For 59 Percent Of Their Open Jobs
(Co-authored by Link Gan)
In January, we published a list of the 25 most in-demand skills. As you may have noticed, all of the skills on the list are hard skills — specific skills that are required to do a job that are learned, like mobile development, channel marketing, and economics. But numerous employers have told us they’re struggling to find candidates with soft skills — personal attributes that help people interact effectively with others, like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking.
As an economist, I wanted to see if there was any evidence of the growing demand for soft skills. So we asked 291 U.S. hiring managers in May how hard it was to find candidates with soft skills for each of the jobs they were hiring for. Fifty-nine percent of hiring managers’ responses were that soft skills are “difficult” to find, whereas 53 percent of responses were that hard skills are “difficult” to find. And 58 percent said the lack of soft skills among candidates is “limiting their company’s productivity.”
Clearly soft skill supply and demand are misaligned, and soft skills are increasingly crucial to getting your dream job. In fact, they’re so crucial that an employer recently told Maricopa Community Colleges Associate Director of Workforce Development Sheila Paul Shedd he’d “rather hire a Boy Scout over someone with a degree because at least they’ll have the right soft skills.”
We wanted to know more about this trend, so we tapped into the Economic Graph to see what else we could uncover. It became clear that workers need help learning soft skills, so we developed Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills — a new Lynda.com Learning Path that will help people learn the soft skills they need to get the jobs they want, and be successful in them. It’s based on our list of the top 10 most in-demand soft skills, and it’s free to everyone for the next 30 days. Over 60 percent of hiring managers say screening candidates for soft skills is difficult. So employers should check out this Talent Solutions eBook that highlights the best behavioral interview questions.
Fundamental Soft Skills Most In-Demand Among Employers
We analyzed the soft skills listed on the profiles of members who job-hopped (defined as a member changing their employer on their LinkedIn profile) between June 2014 and June 2015 to identify the most sought-after soft skills among employers.