What are the Most Important 21st Century Skills?

What are the Most Important 21st Century Skills?

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess


If you were asked what skills are in shortest supply in the workforce you would probably think first about computer and related skills.

While that is correct, some simple soft skills are just as difficult.

This year’s pair of April surveys confirmed that, as in previous years, employers are having trouble finding people with advanced computer and interpersonal skills, punctuality, and reliability.

Think about it.

Problems finding people who understand that they need to

  • consistently show up at the agreed upon time; and
  • always do what they say they will do.

Not exactly rocket science, but a substantial problem.

The first shows that 36% of businesses in the manufacturing sector that responded to the survey are having moderate difficulty finding workers who are punctual and reliable, while 11% report great difficulty in finding workers with those traits. In the services sector, it’s not as bad — 22% of respondents report moderate difficulty finding punctual, reliable workers, whereas only 3% report great difficulty.

The interpersonal skills are a far more significant concern.

In an age when face-to-face communications is giving way to texting, IMing and email, the ability to work in close proximity with people and not only get along, but bond to create high performing teams, is becoming more and more difficult.

Hard skills, from learning new programming languages or moving from technical work on a financial program to developing mobile apps are learnable, as are all hard skills.

Changing and redirecting the character traits that lead to being punctual and reliable or teaching interpersonal skills to a (probably) uninterested party are most often exercises in frustration.

These are the core reasons why attitude and aptitude are more important than current skills when hiring and a subject we’ll look at in more depth this week.

Image credit: Denise Krebs

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