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Soft skills key to the evolving workplace, survey finds

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Dive Brief:

  • As work continues to change, from companies embracing hybrid models to integrating artificial intelligence into the workflow, employers say soft skills remain of high importance for all workers, according to the results of Business Name Generator’s The Future of Soft Skills in the Workplace study released Thursday. Of the 1,000 employees and managers surveyed, 84% said prospective employees need to have  and demonstrate during the hiring process that they have  soft skills. 
  • For new hires, the top soft skills to have are communication, problem solving and time management, respondents said. When it comes to existing employees looking to advance, the most valuable skill is leadership, per the survey.
  • “The introduction of new technologies like AI has catalyzed the shift in demand for specific skills, requiring employees to deepen their existing skill sets or acquire new ones. Many of these will be soft skills, the personal attributes and non-technical skills that describe how people work and interact with others,” Katrina Haggarty, a Business Name Generator spokesperson, said in a news release.

Dive Insight:

Advances in technology haven’t erased a need for what a Pearson survey released in April referred to as “human” skills. Workers will need skills like problem solving, decision making and teamwork to find positions, the survey found. 

“Even though there is talk of AI and automation taking over jobs, the study goes to show that human skills are still invaluable in the eyes of employers,” Business Name Generator’s Haggarty said. 

Companies that choose to invest in the training and development of these skills can see a return on investment, according to a Feb. 9 Skills Compass Report 2023 from Coursera and The Burning Glass Institute. The report identified skills like risk management and project management as solid investments because, while the cost to develop these skills is high, the payoff can last as long as a person’s entire career. 

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