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The top skills employers are looking for

May 16, 2022

Employers are looking to hire. The number of job openings was at a high of 11.5 million at the end of March 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although it may seem like companies may be willing to take just anyone, the reality is that in professional careers there are certain factors employers need to take into consideration when hiring.

So what are the skills that workers need to be successful in their jobs in 2022?

According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, there are 4 main foundational skills employees need to succeed, and within those 4 foundations are 56 more specific skills.

The 4 main kinds of skills are: Cognitive, Interpersonal, Self Leadership, and Digital. These are typically the most important things to take into account in a wide range of professional positions. Certain jobs, of course, rely more heavily on some skills than others, but these can give you a better understanding of what to look into when interviewing candidates.

Cognitive skills include those related to critical thinking, planning, communication and mobile flexibility. Creativity and adaptability fall in here. Can someone manage their time well? Are they able to learn or be trained in a timely manner? Can they take different perspectives into account? And can they also ask pointed questions and solve problems? This is someone with a great cognitive skill set.

Interpersonal skills are teamwork effectiveness, mobilizing systems and developing relationships. Really, these are any skills related to working with other people. Some careers have a much heavier emphasis on this than others, but no matter what field it is, it's helpful to have someone who is pleasant to speak with and knows how to work well with others. Some sort of conflict can arise in any job, and someone with strong interpersonal skills will be well equipped to handle that.

Self Leadership is goal setting (and achievement), entrepreneurship and self awareness. If someone knows their weaknesses and actively works to improve upon them, if they are someone with an eye for growth and next steps, and they are able to set goals and work toward them, this is someone with a sense of self leadership.

Digital skills include digital fluency and citizenship, software use and development, and understanding digital systems. The world has entered the digital era, and that means the way we work has, too. As technology continues to advance and shows no signs of slowing down, these are skills that are important to stay on top of. Potential employees should generally know how to navigate relevant software tools (or have the skills to learn them).

These top four skills employers are seeking today can help guide both prospective employees and well as those interviewing them to determine which are most relevant to the role and how they fit into them.

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