by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
Wall Street Journal today:
In a Wall Street Journal survey of nearly 900 executives last year, 92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. But 89% said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes. Many say it’s a problem spanning age groups and experience levels.
A LinkedIn analysis of its member profiles found soft skills are most prevalent among workers in the service sector, including restaurant, consumer-services, professional-training and retail industries.
To determine the most sought-after soft skills, LinkedIn analyzed those listed on the profiles of members who applied for two or more jobs and changed jobs between June 2014 and June 2015. The ability to communicate trumped all else, followed by organization, capacity for teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability.
“I can teach somebody how to slice and dice onions. I can teach somebody how to cook a soup. But it’s hard to teach someone normal manners, or what you consider work ethic,” she said.
Training new workers in technical skills takes time and resources employers say they are less willing to invest in workers who don’t have the soft skills to succeed in the long run.
Pay attention to the last two paragraphs, especially that last sentence. Mull their significance.
Longtime readers of our work at John Locke know about the crucial importance of overlooked soft skills. They have read about private job training charities like StepUp Ministry, Jobs for Life, STRIVE, etc. that emphasize teaching the soft skills that make people employable. Unlike local demagogues and dilettantes, they know having and being able to hold on to work is more important than being unemployable at “compassionate” wages.