Master These 5 In-Demand Soft Skills Employers Are Seeking

Soft skills are in demand. In the 2019 Global Talent Trend report, LinkedIn surveyed 5,000 talent professionals across 35 countries. That’s a lot of diverse opinions, but an incredible 92 percent of participants agreed that soft skills matter as much as, if not more than, hard skills. They not only thought soft skills were important, but believed the primary cause of bad hires was a lack of these interpersonal abilities.

Here are the most in-demand soft skills employers are looking for and why they matter.

In Demand Soft Skills

1. Creativity

When people think of creative jobs, their minds wander to writers, sculptors, and inventors. No one ever took creative accounting in college, right? But creativity extends well beyond art.

Put simply, creative thinking is the ability to look at something old in a new way. That may be imagining a new product, pitching a fresh marketing outlet, or devising a more efficient way to do a laborious task. Organizations look for creativity because they know unexpected challenges will happen, and creative employees will help them rise to the occasion.

2. Persuasion

Not in the sense of coercing or pressuring others to do something. We’re talking about the interpersonal ability to encourage others to put their trust in you and work with you toward a common goal.

In this light, persuasion is a powerful skill. Persuasive people can deliver messages effectively. They build strong connections, motivate others, and understand the value of reciprocity. They also tend to be empathetic and active listeners. This makes them not only great employees but also pleasant coworkers.

3. Collaboration

Businesses need employees to work as a team. Teams tackle tasks faster, they augment the expertise of their members, and they accomplish projects too large and complex for any individual.

But for a team to succeed, its members need to be able to collaborate. Collaboration keeps everyone moving to the same goal. It prevents the fractures that create negative work environments. It just makes any task easier.

With remote work becoming more popular, teams can now be dispersed across entire continents. This fact makes collaboration skills more necessary than ever.

4. Time management

It seems simple enough: People who can manage their time effectively get their work done. True enough, but time management offers so much more to the employer and the employee.

Good time management helps you accomplish more with less effort. It grants moments for creative thinking, problem solving, and healthy habits. It improves work-life balance, and it makes you a more valued team member since coworkers will know they can rely on you to meet the deadline.

In short, time management skills create more time, a precious resource in any organization.

5. Adaptability

Things change. Thanks to advances in technology and our always-on society, that adage is truer than ever. As such, adaptability has become a much sought-after skill.

Adaptable employees are open to new ideas and new methods. They know how to manage their anxieties and lead others when change occurs. They’re comfortable with learning new skills, work well in new environments, and aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo.

In a way, adaptability is the prime soft skill. Without it, it’s impossible to evolve the other four in-demand soft skills we’ve discussed.

6. Soft skills in demand

Don’t get us wrong: Hard skills are important. If you can’t perform a position’s required tasks, no amount of creativity or persuasion will make you an ideal candidate. But hard skills don’t differentiate employees the way soft skills do.

A good accountant can balance the books, but only the best will do it in a timely manner, adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and collaborate toward a common goal. These interpersonal skills help create an efficient and inviting workplace, which is why they’re in such demand.

Like hard skills, soft skills can be taught and strengthened with practice. All it takes is time, a willingness to diversify, and a good teacher or two. Learning them can make all the difference at your next job.

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