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Will (soft) skills finally get the recognition they deserve?

It’s hard to find a list of recruitment trends for 2021 that skills aren’t a part of. And deservedly so, because they have been on the list of ‘things we should do something with’ for a while. Will next year be the year that skills become a daily part of recruiting?

Vicky Vijg on December 01, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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Will (soft) skills finally get the recognition they deserve?

Since it became easier to get access to a lot more candidates in different places around the world, your talent pool will most likely expand. But even tho there is no lack of talent, there is a lack of unique, new and rare skills. In the future it will be a lot more about the ‘war for skills’. With this in mind, it’s going to be important to know which skills are necessary to keep your company thriving.

Growing skills

Focussing on skills makes it easier to hire employees based on what they can (skills), and not only on what they know (education). But in reality, degree’s and cv’s are still the number one indicator. It turns out that it’s quite difficult to find out who exactly has which personality, cognitive or practical skill.

It turns out that it’s quite difficult to find out who exactly has which skill.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases. Critical thinking and problem-solving are on the top of the list of skills employers believe will grow fast in the next five years. Newly emerging this year are skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

Will it fit?

Recently LinkedIn introducedCareer Explorer-tool (still in bèta) where your skills on your profile get matched with the required skills in a vacancy. Last year LinkedIn started this process with introducing assessments that can help with the matchingBased on a range of questions, it will tell you if you if the skills you have, will fit with the job you are looking for.

77% of employers find it difficult to test whether a candidate has the required skills.

One of the reasons why this function was made, is because research showed that 77% of employers find it difficult to test whether a candidate has the required skills. Definitely without a reliable assessment. Since a few weeks, LinkedIn does this automatically in a already usable bètaversion. So far they have found 36.000 skills who can be matched with the 6.000 types of job functions they haveThis might result in finding a job that you wouldn’t initially look at, but where you do have the requirements for.

The rise of soft skills

In the case of skills, soft skills will become especially important. Although it took a pandemic to make that clear, the time has now come to select candidates on skills such as adaptability and flexibility. Soft skills are skills that are less tangible than hard skills, and therefore less easy to learn. 

Especially soft skills will become important, although it took a pandemic to make that clear.

For example, someone can easily learn the technical and specific aspects of the job once they’re doing it, but soft skills are more based on personal skills. Think about problem solving, teamwork, creativity, good communication, and leadership capabilitiesNow that jobs are changing faster and technical knowledge becomes outdated by the minute, it’s less about what you do, and more about how you do it.

Unexpected tasks

Nowadays it’s necessary to be able to do other tasks than are normally not in your job description, for example when colleagues unexpectedly have to outsource something. The “2020 State of Recruiting Report” shows that more than 60% of recruiters agree that they should hire candidates with skills they thought were not – or to a lesser extentneeded before the pandemic.

It took a drastic external trigger to change old habits.

But focussing on soft skills is not completely new. Talent experts have been trying to tell that they are important for years. It took a drastic external trigger to actually take it seriously and change old habits. Probably because measuring soft skills is a time consuming and complex task, more difficult than checking diplomas and work experience on a resume. But it is a task that is well worth the effort.

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Vicky Vijg

Vicky Vijg

Writer at ToTalent & Werf&

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