The Soft Skills Revolution: The Rising Value of People Skills

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, the demand for employees with exceptional soft skills is skyrocketing. With the rise of technology, artificial intelligence, and remote working, the ability to connect with others on a human level has never been more important. According to a Deloitte survey, by 2030, jobs requiring soft skills are predicted to make up 63% of all roles. This statistic underscores a significant shift in what employers value most in their workforce.

Recruiters are increasingly prioritising and searching for candidates with high emotional and social intelligence. While hard skills can be taught and refined over time, the innate ability to understand, empathise, and connect with others is much harder to instill. Emotional intelligence, which encompasses self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, has become a cornerstone of effective teamwork and leadership. Similarly, social intelligence—the capacity to understand and navigate social situations and build relationships—remains a critical asset in any professional setting.

Soft skills are the foundation of everything in the workplace.

They are essential for creating a positive work environment, fostering collaboration, and driving productivity. Employers recognise that these skills are integral to managing conflict, leading teams, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Despite their importance, a striking 37% of employers report that entry-level staff lack the necessary soft skills. This gap is particularly pronounced among younger workers who have grown up in a digital-first world and often rely heavily on technology for communication.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this issue. Many young professionals missed out on crucial soft skill development opportunities during formative years of their education and early career due to remote learning and lockdowns. Without the regular face-to-face interactions that build emotional and social intelligence, these workers may struggle to engage effectively in a traditional workplace setting.


  1. Communication: Clear and effective communication is the bedrock of any successful career and organisation. Whether it’s verbal, written, or non-verbal, the ability to confidently convey ideas and information succinctly and with influence is crucial.
  2. Emotional and Social Intelligence: These skills involve understanding one’s own emotions and those of others, leading to better interpersonal interactions and relationships. They are vital for managing teams, resolving conflicts, and creating a positive work culture.
  3. Easy to Work With: Being approachable and cooperative makes an employee invaluable. Those who are easy to work with contribute to a harmonious workplace, facilitating smoother collaboration and project execution.
  4. Teamwork: The ability to work effectively within a team is indispensable. This involves not only contributing individual expertise but also supporting colleagues, sharing responsibilities, and working towards common goals.
  5. Creative Thinking: Innovation and problem-solving are driven by creative thinking. Employees who can think outside the box, clearly communicate their ideas and bring fresh perspectives to challenges are highly valued.
  6. Adaptability/Resilience: In a rapidly changing work environment, adaptability and resilience are critical. The ability to remain flexible, cope with setbacks, and quickly pivot to new circumstances ensures ongoing productivity and progress.
  7. Leadership: Effective leadership is about inspiring and guiding others towards a common goal. Leaders with strong emotional and social intelligence can motivate teams, manage change, and drive organisational success.

As technology and remote work reshape the professional landscape, the ability to interact with empathy, understand social cues, and build strong relationships is more valuable than ever. Employers are seeking out these traits, recognising that while hard skills are teachable, the human touch provided by soft skills is indispensable. Investing in emotional and social intelligence will not only prepare workers for the future but will also cultivate a more cohesive, innovative, and productive workplace.