Across the country, employers are struggling to find enough workers to meet the needs of their businesses, and the issue isn’t just anecdotal and specific to a handful of vocal companies. “The economic data is fairly clear: employers are getting desperate for workers in the United States, writes Tom Spiggle in an article for Forbes. “By the end of April 2021, job openings rose to an unprecedented 9.3 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
Given the difficulty of finding staff, many employers are forced with the choice of offering higher wages and greater flexibility to employees or doing more with less. Either way, each individual employee is becoming more valuable as the labor shortage extends. For employees and job applicants, this represents unprecedented leverage to land a dream job on extremely favorable terms. But understanding what skills are in the greatest demand and ensuring that employees have an opportunity to develop those skills can boost an organization’s ability to attract top talent as well.
Very often these skills aren’t the traditional “hard skills” that might come through a degree or certificate. Soft Skills are equally and, sometimes, even more valued.
Top Soft Skills in Demand Today
In a previous post, we looked at new data from Udemy’s corporate product, Udemy Business, which identified the top surging skills in the workplace in June 2021. There we focused on the top 10 “surging” tech skills, representing the skills most in demand by corporate learners on Udemy Business. But tech skills and other “hard skills” are only part of what makes an employee attractive to an employer. Soft skills also play a key role.
According to Udemy, the top 10 surging soft skills in June 2021 were:
- Sales management
- Talent management
- Career coaching
- Executive coaching
- Personal networking
- Slack communication
- Productivity apps
- Time management
It’s telling that several of the top soft skills on Udemy’s list are focused on what can be thought of as force multiplication, either improving one’s own productivity or helping others become more effective at their positions.
Time management and productivity apps fall into the former category, while coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, talent management, and empowerment all fall into the latter. These are important factors as both companies and their employees work to do more with less in the face of unprecedented labor shortages.