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Why human skills or soft skills will mark the future of hiring

ANDn the coming years, Human Capital professionals and business leaders will have to face some changes, which are already being experienced, in the productive model. This evolution, which affects the hiring of the worker of the future, is presented as the need to adapt to new labor market trends. These new trends include soft skills in recruitment.

The influence of technology at work, the impact of teleworking or the effects of the social and environmental revolution, etc. These are some of the unknowns that HR managers should assess when formulating their next talent recruitment and retention policies.  

Specifically, the economic and social situation left by the COVID-19 pandemic, with phenomena such as The Great Renunciation, the increase in artificial intelligence, robotics or machine learning, has led experts to focus on the the soft skills. That is, in the human skills, as the main ingredient to face the transformation and redesign the new jobs. 

Table of Contents

The phenomenon of The Great Resignation as an example of soft skills in recruitment

According to data from World Economic Forum, 4.4 million people quit their jobs in the United States in September 2021. This phenomenon, known as The Great Resignation or the Great Renunciation in Spanish, it is one of the most obvious effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the workplace. 

The pandemic crisis has motivated millions of people to rethink their values, prioritize time with their loved ones and drastically change their lives to seek their well-being.   

This phenomenon, now almost worldwide, has affected thousands of companies and service providers, who in recent months have had difficulty filling vacancies, especially in the hospitality, health and sales sectors, the most affected by the pandemic.

On the other hand, companies with a high independence of service location and a low independence of time are the least affected by this great flight of talent. These are business models such as live streaming or streaming, restaurants with home delivery, online advice or telephone assistance.

Consequences of the pandemic

Following these changes, companies now have to navigate the effects of COVID-19 and reassess how to retain the talent that still remains in the team. A crucial solution to this growing problem is to focus on the learning and development of soft skills of employees.

A study conducted by Harvard, MIT and other schools revealed that training social skills in areas such as problem solving and communication increases productivity and retention in a 12%, with a return on investment of the 250% in less than a year.

According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the most important factor for employees after resignation is feeling valued by the organization. More than 93% of employees would stay in a company for longer if it invested in training their skills, according to the Report of Workplace Learning 2018 made by LinkedIn. 

Forecasts for 2025 as a way of seeing the future of soft skills in recruitment.

The report on the Future of Jobs made by him World Economic Forum (WEF), revealed that the 50% of active workers will need some form of retraining or retraining by 2025. According to these estimates, 85 million jobs will cease to exist and another 97 million new jobs will arise, also in the next 3 years. 

This Forum research revealed that adapting to the coming changes will require the acquisition of new job skills, among which critical thinking and problem solving stand out. These will be the main soft skills for the future, identified by the WEF in its research for the already named Fourth Industrial Revolution: 

  • Solving complex problems
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People Management
  • Coordinating with others
  • emotional intelligence
  • Judgment and decision making
  • service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • cognitive flexibility

And why of the ten new abilities that the report indicates, 8 are considered soft skills? What is this about?

technological adaptation 

To redesign jobs and face the transformation of the productive model not only do you have to take into account the work of people, but also technology and algorithms come into play. 

Due to technological developments, more and more work processes have been automated and machines are replacing some human work. Therefore, hard skills can become obsolete very quickly.

On the other hand, those known as soft skills or soft skills, have begun to gain importance in workspaces, since machines cannot replace them, and they have little "soft" anymore. Experts say that organizations that hire people with strong people skills will be successful in the long run. 

Already in 2014, a Pew Research Center study revealed that robotics and artificial intelligence would cover large segments of daily life by 2025. Specifically, it would be in different industrial areas such as health, transport and logistics, customer service and home maintenance. However, he pointed out that there are certain human abilities that can never be replaced by machines. 

Currently, at a time of rapid evolution in the world of work, human or soft skills have become essential to achieve professional success.

Some of these skills are:

  • emotional intelligence
  • empathy
  • the creativity
  • adaptability
  • mindfulness
  • the colaboration

Other skills directly linked to the pandemic or technology are related to:

  • usability
  • the control
  • monitoring
  • the design and programming of technology and resilience
  • hestress tolerance
  • flexibility.

The war for talent begins as a way of seeing soft skills in recruitment

In this context of labor crisis and the need to adapt to changes, the talent retention has become a crucial goal for companies in 2022, who will not only have to maintain their team, but will also have to bet on the continuous development of skills that generate better results. 

This situation entails an increase in the demand for talent, and consequently an improvement in the conditions to attract it. Hiring processes must also be streamlined to achieve the best profile before the competition. Therefore, experts estimate that a war for talent begins. 

In conclusion, the priorities for business leaders for the next few years must adapt to changes in order to: 

  • Professionalize the processes of selection and hiring to ensure the acquisition of the right talent.
  • Retain talent that stands out or top performers in the team, and develop their skills to be highly competitive. 

Put the focus on the human skills, which cannot be replaced by automation.

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