5 Soft Skills and 5 Hard Skills Every Company Needs in 2020

While soft skills are more interpersonal and human-centric, hard skills are based on knowledge and competence. A company can encourage its employees to learn new skills, both soft and hard, which will help the company grow.

For an employer, in-demand skills are vital to ensure efficiency and continued productivity among its employees. For an employee, these in-demand skills are essential to grow and flourish in an organisation.

This new millennium has witnessed rapidly increasing automation and digital transformation. Many companies are focusing more on their digital presence and putting less emphasis on physical presence. In such a rapidly changing business environment, it is crucial that your employees have the required skills to grow and flourish in their careers.

Therefore, companies would need their employees to acquire in-demand skills or skills that are more relevant to the current business dynamics. These skills can be divided into soft skills and hard skills that the employee needs to gain so that they can prosper within the company. So, let us check out the top skills in demand that companies need their employees to learn and acquire.

Top 5 soft skills

The five soft skills that companies are looking for the most in 2020 are:

1. Creativity

Creativity is necessary to find solutions to the trickiest of problems. An employee should have the ability to find and connect the most unrelated dots to generate useful and original solutions. This is an especially invaluable skill to possess, regardless of the industry, firm or the country you operate in.

As a soft skill, companies appreciate creativity more than any other skill. Because sometimes, when the problem cannot get solved through textbook methods, it requires out-of-the-box, creative thinking to find the solution. And the employees who can do that are considered prized assets to the company.

2. Persuasion

If creativity is the foremost soft skill that a company needs in its employees, the second in-demand skill is persuasion. Though many creative ideas that have the potential to solve a problem often emerge, they still need to be backed by effective persuasion to bear fruition. Persuasion shows one’s conviction and belief in a particular idea or solution.

What the person then needs to do is induce this conviction in others to buy into the idea. This is where effective persuasion wins.

Persuasion mainly involves convincing others about your unique ideas or solutions and building a consensus among the team to make the decision. This is the most potent communication skill that every company needs, and it should be inculcated in their employees.

3. Collaboration

Even the most difficult goals can be achieved through collaboration. This is an in-demand skill that every company needs to imbibe and inculcate in their employees. When every member of the team collaborates rather than contribute individually, this can lead to more efficiency and productivity at the workplace.

Further, a collaborative work environment makes every employee empowered as they see themselves as active collaborators working towards a common vision. This generates far better results than one expects. Companies should focus on creating a work environment that encourages collaboration among employees rather than assigning them tasks and expecting them to follow orders.

4. Adaptability

Adaptability is one of the essential in-demand skills to learn to survive in a dynamic work environment that is constantly changing and evolving. After all, it is impossible for any entity in the universe to escape change. And hence, companies need employees who can efficiently adapt to the dynamic changes in the market.

Companies should encourage their employees to sync with the ever-evolving business environment. It will help the employees to hop back to normalcy soon after a crisis. Also, adaptability will help you overcome the trickiest of challenges efficiently and effectively, without causing any major impact on your business productivity.

5. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to perceive, analyse and respond accordingly to your emotions and that of the others. This is one of the new skills to learn that successful organisations swear by, and every company should encourage it among their employees.

Emotional intelligence will allow a person to read and analyse their emotions, helping them to make the right decisions, and thus, preventing any overflow of emotions in decision-making. Uncontrolled emotions often cloud one’s ability to make decisions, especially in crunch situations, forcing them to act on their fight-or-flight instincts, which generally has long-term negative implications on a business.

Emotional intelligence is not about the absence of emotions. It is about understanding and acknowledging your emotional outflow to make the most suitable decision.

Top 5 in-demand hard skills

The most essential hard skills that companies need in order to thrive in today’s competitive market include:

1. Sales

This is one of the foremost hard skills that companies look for in an employee today. You will be hard-pressed to find a company without a sales department. Sales is the backbone of any company. Remove the sales team out of the equation, and the business tumbles like ninepins. Every business thrives on sales and needs great sales personnel to drive their business forward.

Therefore, sales is the most vital hard skill that companies look for, and it is one of the best skills to learn for employees. An efficient sales team, effectively managed by an experienced sales manager, can help create a successful sales funnel to target prospective clients and drive sales. Plus, they can also help conduct the highest level of business.

2. Blockchain

The blockchain technology is generally used to mine and support cryptocurrency. However, the novel ways in which blockchain technology stores, validates, authorises and moves data across the internet, can be effectively utilised as one of the most secure methods of storing digital assets across the online medium.

Companies are increasingly exploring the eventuality of full-time use of blockchain technology for securing their digital assets. Therefore, blockchain is the in-demand skills that companies need. Companies have to explore ways of building this skillset among their employees, as blockchain experts are by far, few and difficult to recruit.

3. Business analysis

Business analysis is a research-based discipline which analyses heaps of data to identify the business needs as well as determine efficient solutions to business problems. Business research and analysis is the key in-demand skill that every company needs.

Business analysts use technology and software applications to conduct business research and provide more effective, actionable insights that will help the business grow and reap profits. In recent times, this has become a primary skillset that companies look for in an individual.

4. Cloud computing

Today many companies get built and operate completely on the cloud. Cloud helps deliver efficiency to business and boosts productivity. Primarily, the cloud provides an opportunity to service a wide client base across geographies and demographics. Therefore, companies need cloud computing skills to efficiently manage their business on the cloud.

Cloud computing is an in-demand hard skill that an employee should possess. The scope of cloud computing involves creating technical architecture to support the business on the cloud and efficient delivery of cloud systems and updates for the proper functioning of the business. Thus, companies need a cloud computing specialist to help run their business on the cloud.

5. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a wonderful innovation for humanity. It has completely transformed the way we view and utilise technology. Artificial intelligence impeccably augments human workforce capabilities. In simple terms, artificial intelligence is also referred to as machine intelligence — which means intelligence demonstrated by machines.

Therefore, companies need AI architects to help capitalise on the potential of AI and apply it into their business. This is why artificial intelligence is an in-demand skill that companies need. After all, natural language processing and machine learning are the systems that can help the company deliver innovative, relevant and personalised services and products.

These are the in-demand skills that most companies need to grow and succeed in their business operations. While soft skills are more interpersonal and human-centric, hard skills are based on knowledge and competence. A company can encourage its employees to learn new skills, both soft and hard, which will help the company grow.

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Shalini L
Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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