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Top Job Skills In Demand Right Now

Posted by Chris Fields

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of the “skills gap” also known as the “talent gap”. This gap represents the deficiencies in the skills needed to be a successful employee versus the available skills in the applicant or candidate pool.

Employers have determined that their desired qualifications are not being met by the current labor force. Since every position is different so are the needs of every employer, and this makes it very hard to figure out which are the top skills that are in demand right now.

When asked, which skills are in demand right now, most of us would probably say technology skills.

According to the World Economic Forum, cloud computing, web architecture, development framework, middleware and integration software, user interface design, information security, and mobile development are the hottest skills to have.

An article by Megan Elliot on Money & Career Cheat Sheet also supports the theory that technology is the top in-demand skill for 2017. This articles also includes Java development, big data, algorithm design, storage systems and management among the hottest skills.

Citing technology and the “Internet of Things” or (IoT) for short, is a safe bet when it comes to futuristic predictions. However, human resource professionals see lots of people with awesome technical skills, but questionable soft skills.

Soft skills are emerging as the most in-demand skills right now.

Soft skills include interpersonal, communication, analytical, presentation, and deductive reasoning skills. But anyone in a management role will agree that it is becoming harder and harder to communicate with employees. Part of the reason is because technology has changed the way we communicate with each other. For instance, texting is more popular than email, in fact, people hate email. Fastcodesign.com published an article titled, “How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever”, which chronicles the fall of email’s popularity.

Social media platform’s emojis and memes have also altered the way we communicate with each other and that has infiltrated the workplace. The bottom line is now employees have weaker soft skills than ever before, thus making communicating much more difficult.  When communication is stifled, conflict arises. Poor soft skills can affect your career projection, salary, and compensation. Even our leaders need to have good soft skills; if not, it could have an effect on retaining top performers.

Here are a few more reasons why soft skills are just as important as tech skills:

  1. Project Management: Without soft skills project management is all but impossible. Each team member is responsible for various aspects of the project and, they must be able to complete the task and work with others to successfully connect the project pieces. If you cannot work in a team, none of this is possible.
  2. Engagement: Without the ability to communicate effectively, how can employers and employees stay on the same page? Communication is a two-way street, if employees cannot articulate their thoughts and feelings, then ultimately there will be a breakdown in the relationship.
  3. Analysis/Reasoning: Lots of employees can solve a problem but very few use deductive reasoning to resolve future problems and improve the business. The process of using business intelligence and problem resolution to tie solutions to organizational needs is a missing skill in the labor force. The Society for Human Resource Management issued a press release, in which, a SHRM survey shows 59% of employers will be requiring better data analysis skills over the next five years.

Technology skills are hot, and will always be useful in the ever-changing job market; however, soft skills are important and declining, which puts them in higher demand right now. We believe that assessments play a huge role in determining the top job skills necessary for your company.

Tell us which skills you feel are the most useful to employers in the comments below.

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About Chris Fields

Author

Chris Fields is an HR professional and expert resume writer with more than 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites: CostofWork.com and ResumeCrusade.com, and contributes HR-focused content to many others, including PerformanceICreate.com, eSkill.com and SmartRecruiters.com.

3 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Ellee February, 14, 2017

    Let’s start by admitting that the first skills we need are technical. Let’s suppose we have a job which requires German language skills, and data warehouse development. Do you hire a person fluent in German, or a person fluent in Oracle and PL/SQL? I believe German can wait, and in this case, you can offer language and communication training. But, of course, it all depends on the job requirements and priorities.

  • Oliver C. February, 14, 2017

    There’s always been this challenge to find good technical people who are also good communicators. We can’t always find them; however, there is one thing we can do as a company to nurture these skills, and that is monthly team-building meetings. It might be expensive, but it is so worth it for the spirit of a productive team.

  • Carla M. February, 14, 2017

    Cloud, web, frameworks – that’s the reality we live in and we can’t avoid it. The only thing we can do is to mix teams with people from different educational backgrounds. Multi-disciplinary teams that can cover both soft and technical skills are the way to go. That’s why the role of a business analyst becomes more and more important in an IT team.

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