Teamwork, commitment, problem-solving, constant learning, creativity, adaptation to change … Surely all these concepts or some of them are familiar to you. These are some of the so-called soft skills or soft skills. Personal characteristics that recruiters look for in their future employees during a job interview that does not appear on a common resume. And many wonder what the future of soft skills is. Or which will be the most demanded tomorrow.
The fact is that along with hard skills, abilities, and knowledge directly related to your job or job, soft skills complement the former and make a professional better able to perform their tasks: communication, adaptation, problem-solving, tolerance to the changes … These are just a few examples of soft skills that we should all have. Or at least, train and empower in our day-to-day.
And like everything else in life, the soft skills in demand change and evolve as the job market, jobs and the needs of tomorrow’s companies do. So, while we still do not know what will be next to skills, we can venture to envision the future of soft skills based on current trends.
The soft skills of the future
Big Data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, automation, deep learning … These are concepts associated with relatively recent technologies that today’s companies are applying to obtain better results. For this, professional profiles are necessary that until now did not exist or that were dedicated to other tasks. And these profiles require certain technical knowledge but also soft skills to fit into the organizational chart of your company.
The question is, what soft skills should the professionals of the coming years and decades integrate? Some of them have been around forever, such as communication, collaboration or teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptation to change. They are key in all professional gear even before the concepts of soft skills emerged.
Be that as it may, soft skills will become increasingly important in a reality in which a large part of the production process is automated. Or put another way: tomorrow’s professionals will have to do what a machine cannot, for the moment. For example, solve problems. Of course, based on the information provided by big data and with the help of solutions that technologies such as deep learning can offer.
In the list of soft skills to keep in mind for the future, there are some that appear in all predictions. Analytical thinking, complex problem solving, constant and active learning, creativity, attention to detail, emotional intelligence… Virtually all of these concepts already exist today and some have been implementing them for years. Some are more or less required in certain jobs. But it is clear that as a professional profile is going to become more complex, the skills required will be focused on going beyond what a machine or an algorithm can do on its own.
Skills for human beings
Curiously, in increasingly technical environments, the human component becomes more important. Hence, there is so much talk about emotional intelligence, the importance of communication, empathy, adaptation to changes, and concepts such as resilience and self-motivation.
While the skills of each professional focus on programming, data analysis, and other technological elements, in parallel we have soft skills focused on making this part work perfectly with the people who will work with it. And it is that, although it seems corny, the human part will continue to be, or should be, a basic pillar of any company in the future.
That does not mean that the demands for the professionals of the future are more and more. Hence the importance of constant learning, which I mentioned earlier. It has always been important to learn from experience, but in the present, and of course, in the future, and professional profile must be in constant training thanks to the many tools that online learning offers. Both by ourselves and by companies that must provide their employees with training to face constant and changing challenges.
In short, it is still not clear what will come after soft skills. Meanwhile, the future of soft skills is more than assured, whether they are called that or otherwise. These personal characteristics have always been in the most prominent professionals and will continue to be so. Naturally or by training them. The importance of one or the other in the future will depend on the sector and each job position, but as we have seen, soft skills will revolve around communication and adaptation, two keys that explain why human beings have come so far.