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The 5 soft skills that matter to companies

The 5 soft skills that make the difference in companies

While technical skills - or hard skills - are essential to find a job and feel confident in carrying out one’s missions, human skills - or soft skills - are also more and more sought after by companies. As the presence of computers, robots, and artificial intelligence in our society increases, it has become essential to know how to work as part of a team, interact with others, and be creative.

Higher education institutions are aware of this demand and are now keen to teach their students life skills in addition to the usual knowledge and know-how. To do so, they call on professionals to come share their experience and [use new tools - such as Wooclap - to help students develop work habits based on collaboration and personal commitment.

In an effort to better understand the expectations of companies, the LinkedIn Learning professional social network has used its 660 million users and 20 million jobs to identify the five most sought-after human skills today.

1. Creativity

New ideas are welcomed with enthusiasm, whether they involve taking a different path to solve a problem or making suggestions to move a project forward in a more original and effective way. Creativity is increasingly seen as an essential quality, valued highly by companies in all fields: LinkedIn Learning emphasises that this skill is sought after from human resources to engineering.

2. The power of persuasion

No one runs a project alone, in total isolation: everyone has colleagues, superiors or subordinates. Even in the case of solitary projects, one then has to deal with clients or partners. So, having good ideas is not enough: you have to be able to explain why one decision is better than another, and convince the people you work with to move in that direction together.

While this quality is particularly vital for a leader, it also allows an employee to make his or her voice heard and to value his or her commitment within the company.

3. Collaboration

While a certain hierarchy still exists in companies, the model is much less authoritarian than it was twenty or thirty years ago. Thus, whether one is a manager or an executive, it is important to know not only how to listen to others, but to understand how the qualities of some complement those of others.

Far from being innate, these relational skills can be learned. One can rely on the theories developed in the field of sociology - or even neuroscience - to understand what drives collaboration, but also experience it oneself in a practical way, notably by using collaborative digital tools like Wooclap.

4. The ability to adapt

The days when people spent their entire career with the same company, climbing up the corporate ladder in a linear and progressive manner, feel like a distant past… Everyone knows that these days, techniques are evolving at exponential speeds and jobs are changing, thereby causing disruptions of varying severity in professional careers.

To prepare for this, it is important to know how to be open to new ways of doing things, which particularly helps people to cope with a potentially stressful situation.

5. Emotional intelligence

Because human beings are not robots, knowing how to decipher the emotions of one’s colleagues and talk to them without rushing them is useful in order to interact effectively. LinkedIn Learning notes that emotional intelligence is gaining ground in the expectations of companies, while the ability to manage one’s time is declining.

This is another sign that knowing how to work with others is becoming increasingly important in today’s professional world.

The 10 most sought-after technical skills by companies according to the LinkedIn study
Alongside the human skills that influence « the way we work », technical skills relate to the content of our work. LinkedIn Learning lists the ones that are currently on the rise, but emphasises that they are changing very quickly:
- Blockchain
- Cloud computing
- Analytical reasoning
- Artificial intelligence
- UX design
- Business analysis
- Affiliate marketing
- Sales
- Scientific computing
- Video production

Find out more:

Read the report of the Linkedin Learning study here !

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