The in-demand skills that may surprise you – hint: they aren’t tech

By Gail Lethbridge

SeasonedPros Content Lead

It is often assumed that tech and data are the skills for success in the digital economy. 

This has been true for the last few decades, but there is a renewed demand for talent with people skills. Organizations need the human touch for leading, working in teams and understanding how to use all of this data to achieve business goals.

Soft skills are in demand

Increasingly, employers are searching for soft skills which include personality, flexibility, motivation and good manners. 

Soft skills are identified as decision-making, creativity, teamwork and empathy. These qualities allow them to interact productively with teams and identify the motivations of clients.

These skills are often intuitive and are difficult to teach in university programs and measure in tests. They come from long experience and maturity.

Soft skills in demand

  1. Communication, oral and written –  The ability to understand complex ideas and translate them into language that can be understood by colleagues, clients and stakeholders. 
  2. Teamwork – Many minds working together lead to innovation and fresh ideas. Workers who understand how to collaborate can motivate teams to maximize quality output.
  3. Decision-making is the ability to “see” pathways a business needs to follow in a dynamic economic and cultural context, and decide on the best ways to execute a plan.
  4. Creative and critical thinking– This is the ability to think beyond processes and “the way we’ve always done things.” This thinking helps solve problems with new and innovative mindsets.
  5. Compassion and empathy – stopping for a bit of small talk with a team member goes a long way. Asking the right questions and understanding what is important to a colleague shows that you care. This also provides important insights into clients and customers, which helps move them through the sales process.

Other soft skills in demand include a strong work ethic, punctuality, solutions-based thinking, and active listening. 

Workplaces will need a finer balance of tech, soft skills and deep people experience to tackle the challenges of change.

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