As artificial intelligence (AI) forges ahead, the automation of jobs continues. As a result, where technical skills were the mainstay of most IT professional’s CVs, soft skills are now becoming increasingly important qualities to look for in candidates. The time has come for employers to give greater attention to the human qualities of candidates as we move into a time where working alongside robots becomes the norm.
Soft skills now more important than hard skills
LinkedIn’s recent survey, which questioned 2000 professionals to determine the most in-demand skills for 2018, revealed a couple of interesting points when combined with insights from over 500 million members:
- 57% of leaders reported that soft skills were now more important than hard skills.
- 21 of the 25 most in-demand hard skills were technical and digital.
In other words, what the world needs right now are more technically skilled professionals with the soft skills to communicate and collaborate effectively.
Digital transformation now effects every department in an organisation. It effects everything, everywhere. IT professionals are no longer working in silos – they’re working across the company, across divisions and teams, and this means that they need to know how to translate tech into a language everyone can understand.
As AI develops in machines, humans must develop their EI
It goes further than interpersonal skills, too, although communication features in the top three of this and other similar surveys. Leadership, time management, emotional intelligence (EI), project management and collaborative team work are also critical requirements for the majority of today’s tech roles because, for now, these skills can’t be replicated by machines.
Soft skills aren’t that easy to assess, however, and technical professionals have rarely needed to include them in their job applications in the past. Employers, and consequently candidates and their CVs, have historically listed technical requirements only, which is why a cultural shift needs to happen – and fast.
Hiring managers and IT pros need to accept that soft skills now rank alongside hard skills – and they need to learn how to communicate the human side of the job.
If you need help with articulating or assessing soft skills, contact our Technical Recruitment team who can help with technical job descriptions and CVs.