With the rapid pace of change, businesses continue to see their growth and innovation impeded by skill gaps as leaders find it ever more difficult to find and develop talent for emerging roles, particularly in IT and technology, a new report said.
SHL, a global talent management firm, has released ‘Skills of the Future and Where to Find Them’, a comprehensive analysis of skills in the workplace. The findings emphasise the increasing significance of behavioural or “soft skills” over technical skills in meeting the evolving demands of organisations.
Organisations are prioritising Empathy, Flexibility, Tenacity, and Kindness over a narrow focus on technical expertise, the study said.
“Accelerating skills-based hiring and talent management programs are critical for driving growth as we enter the golden age of AI,” said Andy Nelesen, solutions group leader at SHL.
The report said that with the rise of automation and robotics, and the distributed workforce, leaders must leverage skill sets that facilitate creative and innovative thinking to remain competitive and take advantage of the massive opportunities offered by the new technology.
Skills vary across geography and industry
The study shows every region showed a unique profile of strengths, with ‘Optimism’, ‘Integrity’, and ‘Generosity’ featuring as key ‘Power Skills’ for several regions.
Across India, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Generosity’, and ‘Optimism’ are prevalent, compared to ‘Integrity’, ‘Generosity’, and ‘Ethics’ in Asia. Europeans excel in ‘Flexibility’, ‘Communication’, and ‘Kindness’, while North Americans display ‘Tenacity’ and strong ‘Time Management’ skills.
While ‘Empathy’, ‘Followership’, ‘Curiosity’, and ‘Drive’ weren’t listed within the top attributes for any region, they were cited as critical strengths within industries.
For example, ‘Drive’ is abundant in the manufacturing and banking and financial sectors, and ‘Empathy’ in retail and healthcare. Tapping into shared ‘Power Skills’ across industries can provide recruiters with a fresh approach when struggling to fill open positions, the study said.
Cameron Beazley, science director at SHL added, “Our analysis also shows the emergence of ‘Power Skills’ over time, with people scoring more highly in ‘Tenacity’, ‘Kindness’, and ‘Time Management’ between 2021 and 2023. Equipped with these powerful insights, organisations will better understand their workforce to build a scalable skills strategy that can unlock potential and identify untapped skills.”