Published: 19 Oct 2020
Category: Talent Acquisition , Career Development

6 Soft Skills for the Most On-Demand Jobs in 2020

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Amid the pandemic, the unemployment rate rose globally as many businesses were forced to shut down. On the brighter side, economies and hiring activities are picking up as we enter the final quarter of the year.
 
If you are looking to get hired, possessing essential soft skills could make a difference between landing a job versus being trumped by another candidate. While as an employer or recruiter, awareness of top soft skills to look for can help you make informed hiring decisions, especially when you are trying to upskill your workforce.
 
In this article, we evaluated LinkedIn’s Jobs with The Fastest Growing Demand monthly report and LinkedIn’s latest research on Skills Companies Need Most in 2020.

 
The result is a list of important soft skills in the workplace across highly demanded careers:

  1. Creativity

  2. Sales skills (persuasion)

  3. Critical thinking & problem solving

  4. Adaptability and flexibility

  5. Collaboration & communication

  6. Emotional intelligence

Below is a breakdown of the important soft skills in the workplace to possess in 2020 and ahead.
 

Creativity

In LinkedIn’s list of most in-demand skills of 2020, creativity was listed at number one. Creativity here, though, does not relate to creating art but rather in devising strategies and solutions that would benefit an organization. In these trying times, it is important for organisations to come up with unique solutions to overcome problems and hurdles that were never anticipated or seen before. 
 
Being a creative thinker in terms of coming up with solutions and strategies would make an employee an invaluable asset to have in the company. It is one of the soft skills required in different careers because this can make you efficient in any situation, no matter how challenging. 
 

Sales Skills (Persuasion)

Persuasion as a soft skill can be defined as the ability to convince consumers to make a decision that favors you or your business. According to LinkedIn’s month-by-month report on the most in-demand jobs, salesperson has retained the number one position with no change from August to September 2020 data. This is a very promising report given that the retail industry was among the hardest hit by the pandemic. It is showing a huge potential for individuals with sales skills or those gifted with persuasion since you can put yourself ahead in the recruitment landscape. 
 
Persuasion is also listed as the second most in-demand skills of 2020 in LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning report. It has remained at the number two spot since 2019. This makes persuasion one of the most powerful skills that an employee can have in their arsenal and can be a huge asset for any organisation. 
 

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Speaking of important soft skills, critical thinking is another one high up on the list of consideration among recruiters. In Asia, the ability to devise solutions to common problems at work emerged as one of the most important soft skills in the workplace. Employees are now expected to make critical decisions instead of relying entirely on their superior to make those decisions for them. For many business leaders, this is a type of skill that potential leaders possess, which makes an employee an asset to the team.
 

Adaptability & Flexibility

In the business world, change is the only thing that remains constant – as it is with life. The more adaptable and flexible an employee is, the more valuable they are to an organisation. Adaptability and flexibility are, therefore, among the top soft skills in 2020 (although it also ranked as one of the top 5 soft skills in 2019). 
 
An employee must be able to thrive in a dynamic work environment and be ready to face challenges as they arise. This particular skill is also vital in performing under pressure since it shows resilience and mental toughness. 
 

Collaboration & Communication

The ability to communicate and collaborate is undeniably an important asset to have in the company. This is one of the soft skills needed by employees because it shows their ability to work with a team. When you communicate and collaborate, it means that each employee is working towards a common goal. 
 
Those who possess the skill to communicate and collaborate make an effective team member. And for this reason, they are highly sought after by recruiters. 
 

Emotional Intelligence 

In the list of the most important skills for 2020, emotional intelligence might come as a surprise to many. However, the recent crisis brought on by the pandemic showed why emotional intelligence is an invaluable skill to have. This soft skill refers to the ability to perceive and respond to emotions (both within one’s self and those of others). The interaction between employees is an important component of the team’s social dynamics and the development of work culture.
 
With many organisations switching to a work from home setup, the importance of emotional intelligence proved more important than ever before. Hence, it comes as no surprise why it made the list of the top soft skills considered by employers and recruiters in 2020.

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