With the introduction of new technologies and innovation, the business landscape is seeing a skill shift. The way work gets done is evolving rapidly, and in parallel, employers are no longer looking for the same capabilities from employees as they did years ago. 

In fact, as we begin to be able to rely on machine learning and AI to manage manual and repetitive tasks, emotional intelligence and technological competence, just to name a couple, are becoming increasingly pivotal skill areas for employees to exhibit. 


What's in this post?

  • What Exactly are Soft Skills?
  • The Growing Need for Soft Skills in an L&D Programme 
  • Building an Effective Workforce for Future Growth


What Exactly are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are essential for the future of work, but they’re often overlooked due to their intangibility. Nonetheless, they are the building blocks for facilitating fluid and efficient communication within a workforce. In a business landscape where communication, relationships and presenting your organisation in a positive way to the public and potential employees is a priority, HR managers and employers recognise that soft skills are in fact irreplaceable and necessary. 

So what are some of the key soft skills that employers look for?

1. Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is being identified in the Leadership and Organisational Behaviour literature as accounting for the success and failure of leadership. Despite only being introduced in the 1990s, studies on emotional intelligence has been picking up a lot of traction since, particularly in the fields of psychology, human resource, management and consultancy. It's been regularly used to assess how well we can manage our emotions as we interact with others, using the dimensions of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.

As a confirmed key component for effective leadership, those with high emotional intelligence competencies are able to identify, assess, predict and essentially take control of their own emotions, as well as that of their team members. 


2. Adaptability

The business landscape is constantly evolving. New technologies are changing the way we work, globalisation is making new possibilities into reality, not to mention the last two years have been a clear reminder that adaptability may be the most essential skill to have in the Covid-19 world.

HR managers are looking for open-minded workers who are able to shift gears and take on different responsibilities to match the needs of the volatile business environment. A team can quickly fall apart when the team members aren't able to manage uncertainty, adapt behaviours to other team-member needs. 

Though adaptability is often regarded as a personality trait, Motulsky, an associate professor in the Division of Counseling and Psychology at Lesley University argues that adaptability, although some are already by nature, is indeed a trait that can be learned.

So next time you have a job interview, it may pay to consider the question "What's the most stressful situation you have handled, and what was the outcome?" - chances are high it's on your interviewer's mind. 


3. Self-Motivation

It's true - better motivation leads to better results. 

Self-motivation, commonly called intrinsic motivation, refers to the stimulation that drives adopting or changing behavior for personal satisfaction or fulfillment. For instance, going to a gym session for the positive feeling of being active and building muscle would be considered intrinsic motivation - as opposed to going to the gym because someone would pay you for it. In terms of work, intrinsic motivation within employees can be the difference between workers that take initiative and ownership of their work, set goals and create steps accordingly, and employees that turn up to work, go through tasks while waiting for the clock to hit 5.

But with everything, it's always easier said than done. Especially in times of crisis when managers are fixating on urgent corporate priorities, employees are often left with little room to think about their well-being, and lose their purpose - not just in the workplace, but also in life, leading to damaging effects like such as long term stress. 

So instead of luring employees to complete tasks through traditional, transactional methods (external motivation), HR managers are actively looking for intrinsically motivated employees, and in turn, employees are looking for jobs where they are personally and emotionally invested and able to foster strong relationships to their team members. 


The Growing Need for Soft Skills in an L&D Programme

Recruiting for the right blend of soft skills takes a measured and strategic approach. It also requires an investment of time, patients and often, gut instinct. That's why more and more organisations are investing their time and money into enhancing and developing their learning and development (L&D) strategies as today's skill shift accelerates. 

In turn, organisations and HR managers are recognising the need to adjust the way they train and develop their workforce, and essentially fine-tune the social and emotional abilities that machines cannot master. 


Building an Effective Workforce for Future Growth

Retorio, a start-up based in Munich, helps organisations around the globe take talent management to the next level by helping HR managers spot soft skills within candidates during the hiring process. Through using machine learning, Retorio's AI-powered video interviews automate the pre-screening process, widening the talent funnel and helping to hire the traits and skills that really matter - the soft skills. 

So why are organisations around the world incorporating AI into their talent acquisition process?

1. Data-based insights (removes conscious & unconscious recruiter bias)

2. The ability to test soft skills at scale

3. Convenient for both recruiters and candidates

To learn more about soft skills assessment tests with AI recruiting software, read our article here.

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Click the button below to see how Retorio can help you gain a better understanding of personality, culture fit, and essentially help save costs by recruiting faster and smarter.

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Written by Briah

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