top of page

Why Soft Skills Are Harder Than They Look

Move over, cloud computing and mobile development. The skills that matter most today are the ones we mistakenly call “soft.”

But there’s nothing soft about them.

In fact, soft skills are quickly becoming the difficult skills to recruit for and develop in our organizations. And they’re the ones that turn our everyday work into hard dollars.

It’s time we take a fresh look at these soft skills to understand why they’re more difficult to find and more valuable to build than ever.

The Soft Skills In Demand

Each year, recruiting giant LinkedIn uses its vast bank of data to create a list of the 10 most in-demand skills employers will be looking for in the year ahead. Trainable tech skills like “data mining” consistently rank high on the list.

But in an April 2018 CNBC interview previewing the data, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that “somewhat surprisingly, some people may not realize [that] interpersonal skills is where we’re seeing the biggest imbalance.”

In fact, LinkedIn’s data, covering 100 major cities and surveying over 2,000 business leaders, identified these four critical people-focused skill gaps:

1. Leadership

2. Communication

3. Collaboration

4. Time management

Weiner goes on to quote Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who after cutting back on his production expectations after automation efforts failed, said, “It turns out human beings are underrated.”

Why Soft Skills Are So Hard To Find At Work?

It isn’