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Survey reveals the top 10 in-demand soft skills for today’s evolving workplace

Survey reveals the top 10 in-demand soft skills for today's evolving workplace

Skills like communication, problem-solving and time management remain valuable traits for new team members

There has been a shift in the demand for workplace skills and a rise in the need for soft skills that support working remotely. 

Business Name Generator’s The Future of Soft Skills in the Workplace study surveyed over 1,000 employees to find out the skills employees and businesses value and how the integration of new technologies is impacting this.

Key takeaways

  • 84% of employees and managers believe new employees must possess soft skills and demonstrate this in the hiring process.
  • The most valuable soft skill for recruits is communication.
  • The most valuable soft skill according to c- level executives and senior managers is creativity.
  • The most valuable skill for advancing in your career is leadership.
  • 48% of companies are looking to expand on existing skill sets.

What are the most important skills for new recruits?

84% of employees and managers believe that it’s necessary for new employees to possess soft skills and demonstrate this in the hiring process. This figure was the highest in companies with over 500 employees, with 90% saying that soft skills were essential.

We asked employees which core soft skills they deemed the most important for a recruit joining the company. Communication was regarded as the most important by almost a quarter of respondents, followed by problem-solving (21%) and time management (19%). 


However, when asking C-level executives and senior management, they thought creativity was the most essential skill, at 23% and 26%, respectively. In fact, only 16% of C-suite executives thought communication was one of the most important skills, with seven other skills ranking higher. Only 5% of entry-level employees thought creativity was an important soft skill, so there could be missed potential to upskill in this area and land an entry-level role.

The perceived importance of soft skills also varied with educational level. Those with Bachelor’s degrees (91%), Master’s degrees (91%) and Doctorates (95%) found soft skills more important than those with a high school (74%) or college diploma (78%). 

What are the most important skills for existing employees to advance in their careers?

As employees advance up the career ladder, the demand for specific skills changes. The skill most respondents identified as essential for an existing employee to demonstrate to advance in their career was leadership (21%). However, only 14% of respondents thought this skill was very important for new joiners. Therefore, the skills demanded of employees will change throughout the course of their careers.

How is technology changing team needs?

When asked how important they think soft skills will be in the future of work, 71% of respondents said it would be just as or more important. 3% believed that AI will replace the need for soft skills in the workplace, although they are vastly outnumbered.

Katrina Haggarty, spokesperson from Business Name Generator, says: 

“The introduction of new technologies like AI has catalyzed the shift in demand for specific skills, requiring employees to deepen their existing skill sets or acquire new ones. Many of these will be soft skills, the personal attributes and non-technical skills that describe how people work and interact with others. 

“Growing companies are looking to recruit staff with in-demand skills to ensure they address their changing business needs. We discovered that, despite challenging economic times over the past few years, 70% of companies are still actively looking to hire new employees and almost half are looking to expand skill sets, so there’s a strong incentive for prospective employees and jobseekers to upskill.

“Even though there is talk of AI and automation taking over jobs, the study goes to show that human skills are still invaluable in the eyes of employers.”

Methodology & sources

From July 26 to 31, 2023, we surveyed 1,015 employees across 12 industries, to find out their thoughts on soft skills in the workplace, and the training being provided to them. The survey was overseen by the Censuswide research team.

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