Posted by Kara Bosworth on April 23, 2020
For recruiters and hiring managers seeking marketing talent, hard skills typically top their must-have list. Experience in areas like digital marketing, analytics, and content development are typically in high demand.
There’s no question that these can be a competitive advantage and an important addition to your team, but hard skills shouldn’t be your only area of focus. In its Global Talent Trends 2019 report, LinkedIn says that 91 percent of talent professionals believe soft skills are currently “transforming the workplace,” and are vital to the future of recruiting. “A particular programming language may go out of fashion,” LinkedIn writes, “but creativity, adaptability, and collaboration skills will always be valuable.”
Just as the hard skills that recruiters desire most from year to year can vary, so too do the soft skills. Let’s look at the skills that hiring managers will be watching for this year.
If you’re an account manager at an advertising agency, or a social media marketing director working directly for a brand, it’s obvious that your communication skills will be crucial to your success in securing employment. But communication is a key soft skill for marketers of all kinds.
Strong communication skills are germane to engaging clients, pitching projects, and overall customer relationship management. Internally, communication skills also help you collaborate with your colleagues and work as a team more efficiently.
What do chief marketing officers, marketing VPs, and global marketing managers have in common? All are expected to be great leaders. But leadership is another skill that’s relevant to all types of marketers as they strive to produce the best possible work for their clients and companies.
Marketers with superior leadership abilities often possess other useful skills that allow them to be productive on behalf of your brand. They’re self-starters who take the initiative to pursue innovative ideas and new opportunities, and their motivation encourages others on their team to be comparably ambitious. In a fast-paced and competitive industry like marketing, where technologies and trends change quickly and brands must constantly be on their toes, leadership skills are invaluable.
The same can be said of the ability to tackle problems head-on. Problem-solving, which encompasses secondary skills like active listening and decision-making, leads to more fruitful brainstorming sessions and more effective marketing strategies.
One global research study conducted by software company Adobe, which surveyed both educators and policymakers, found that about 85 percent of respondents believe “Students who excel at creative problem solving will have higher-earning jobs in the future.” The numbers were similar for those who feel “Creative problem solving skills are in high demand today for senior level/ higher-paying careers.”
According to a report conducted by online learning platform Udemy, the shift toward incorporating more automation in business operations means that soft skills are gaining value. “As automation and AI take care of the more mundane tasks, employees are increasingly specializing in tasks that leverage unique ‘human’ strengths like creativity, emotional intelligence, and storytelling,” the company writes.
As such, Udemy found that creativity is the second fastest-growing soft skill in 2020, topped only by a growth mindset. It’s important to note that while bringing more creative talent into your organization is wise, so too is building a company culture that nurtures it. Look for ways to encourage employees to flex their creative muscle and share their ideas, as this can result in more innovative products, services, and business ideas.
Don’t let their name fool you: soft skills are strong, and an excellent addition to your 2020 recruitment strategy. Leaning on a recruitment agency like Paladin can help you identify the candidates who have all the skills you’re looking for.