As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, soft skills are becoming more valuable to employers, according to a new Harris Poll survey commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.
According to the new survey, more than half of businesses (59%) say finding qualified applicants for open positions is one of their greatest difficulties, and one-third say one of the main reasons is that applicants lack soft skills (33%).
The most sought-after soft skills include willingness to learn and dependability (both at 81%), communication skills and adaptability (both at 75%), problem-solving skills (74%) and taking initiative (72%).
These findings follow a December 2020 survey which found more than half of hiring decision-makers believe soft skills are very important or absolutely essential when considering a job applicant.
The pandemic is expected to have long-lasting impacts on employers, with a new normal that requires employers to be flexible, adapt to change quickly and be innovative. In the short-term, companies are anticipated to face acute labor shortages and high employee turnover, as many employers were already struggling to find qualified employees even before the pandemic.