Dear skills gap: We’re on to you
Traditionally, technical skills have been the backbone of the HR process.
Developers need to know how to code. Accountants must be certified. Electricians need to know their earth from their live wire. Without those skills you’re on a path to failure. These have become the ‘essential skills’ that employers look for and the tick boxes that get students through the education system.
However, overwhelmingly, emerging talent consider soft skills to be contributing most significantly to the skills deficit within organisations.
We conducted research with 500 high potentials across a range of sectors to find out what skills have had the biggest impact on them and their organisation.
This research shows a stark contrast between those methods of training / development that emerging talent believe to be most impactful and those that are currently being prioritised by organisations. Therefore, in order to truly deliver a talent development strategy that is fit for purpose, the approach has to change.
The proliferation of Industry 4.0 technologies will only exacerbate this further. The innately human or soft skills of leadership, creativity, empathy, problem solving and communication will undoubtedly become more important than ever, as we require people to make the complex human decisions that robots can’t. Therefore developing soft skills will be a key part of future-proofing the capabilities of workforces – but to really master these, osmosis is simply not enough. To really effectively develop these skills we need a significant shake-up of the talent development strategies most organisations are currently delivering.
The time has come to recognise the importance of soft skills. By virtue of their name, soft skills have become a rather poor relation of hard skills. In reality, these are ‘transformational life skills’ – but it’s not just about the label we give them. The skills we need for our businesses to work are the same as we need for our lives to work. And when we make development about the whole person, they engage 100%. And, that is what we need.
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