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A recent LinkedIn study found that of 291 hiring managers surveyed, 59% agreed that finding employees with the right soft skills is much more difficult than finding employees with adequate technical skills. They also found that these skills are particularly important, and just as hard to find, in areas such as consumer services, retail and healthcare. A recent Wall Street Journal study supported these findings, adding that 92% of executives felt that soft skills were equally important to technical skills, while 89% cited difficulty in finding candidates with those skills. This revelation has caused a shift in terminology with some now referring to this group of skills as “key skills” or “core skills,” some even calling them “employability skills,” emphasizing their importance.

We find that the majority of hiring managers choose candidates based on technical skills, yet the preponderance of terminations and promotions are based on behavioral attributes related to soft skills. Personal and organizational success, therefore, appears to be directly linked to one’s ability to communicate, work in teams, think critically, be adaptable and possess a high level of emotional intelligence. This holds true across industries as well as across employee levels. As the labor market becomes more competitive, these soft skills are becoming more and more important in finding a job, and even more important in moving up the corporate ladder. 

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Stuart Levine

Credit Union Times

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