Sometimes called behavioural skills, soft skills are now of the greatest importance. Being a real priority for companies in 2023, these skills - not to be confused with personality traits - are difficult to identify and evaluate, both for candidates and recruiters.
To allow recruiters to prioritize their actions, we worked on the following question:
What are the most popular soft skills in 2023 ?
In response, Yuzu conducted a survey of 180 HR and recruitment specialists on the most important soft skills for 2023.
We also took care during our interviews to request a prioritization of these same soft skills for managers.
You will find in this article the ranking of the 10 soft skills to prioritize in 2023 according to our barometer.
To go further, we advise recruiters and HR specialists to download the complete study. You will have access to all the statistics, the differences in appreciation between recruitment agencies and companies (you will also have the detail of the priorities according to the size of the structures) and finally the focus of the experts on the skills to be privileged or integrated for the managers.
1 - What is a soft skill?
There is no precise definition of soft skills. However, they are mostly related to behaviour.
To illustrate them, ten of these skills are regularly cited, such as creativity, conflict management or empathy.
The first step of our study was the framing with the experts, of a list of universal soft skills that allowed us to define twenty skills recognized by all market actors.
Soft skills are behavioral competencies
To simplify their understanding, they are generally opposed to hard skills, the technical skills directly related to a job such as mastering a foreign language or a software.
At Yuzu, we consider soft skills as the ability to adapt one's behavior according to the situation: to manage stress, to be autonomous, and to be in a learning situation.
2 - Discover the top 10 soft skills to prioritize in 2023 according to the Yuzu barometer :
3- Ability to learn
6- Stress management
7- Emotional intelligence
9- Problem solving
10- Time management
3 - The point on each soft skill
Adaptability, also known as cognitive flexibility or agility, refers to the ability to adapt to new environments or situations.
Teamwork is the ability to participate in achieving a shared goal, to collaborate with others, and to focus on the success of the group rather than on individual success.
Learning ability is the ability to learn something new and apply it in a specific context.
Curiosity can be referred to as a personality trait, in terms of competence, it is the ability to be interested in and understand unknown things.
Autonomy is the ability to take initiatives, to discern and to self-organize.
Stress management is the ability to maintain self-control in order to act effectively in the face of irritating, unexpected situations.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and control one’s own emotions and deal with the emotions of other collaborators.
Integrity is the ability to be authentic and make ethical decisions based on honesty, trust, fairness and respect.
Problem solving is the ability to think effectively, to bounce back methodically in the face of a problem and to improve a situation.
Time management is the ability to properly invest the assigned work time, plan ahead and determine priorities for organizing your activities.
4 - How to evaluate these soft skills in candidates?
Whether you want to recruit the best people or develop your team's performances, you will need to put in place a process to assess these special skills.
To meet your needs, you must first conduct an analysis within your department to find the skills that have an impact on your organization.
What are the key skills of your team?
What are the key skills of your most successful employees?
Once your list is established, you can proceed to the evaluation of your candidates or collaborators.
Several solutions exist such as online tests and mini-games. These methods have the advantage of being very accessible and inexpensive. On the other hand, they have been criticized for the candidate experience and the quality of the results obtained.
The most sensible choice seems to be in situational setting. The assessment of competences cannot rely exclusively on the talent declaration or on the sometimes subjective feeling of the hierarchy if we speak of employees: the assessment must be accompanied by tools and based on the consideration of concrete professional situations.
These, by their immersive nature, will allow you to transform the evaluation of these skills in a pleasant moment and your results, more natural, will be of better quality.
In order to perform accurate and entertaining assessments, we - at Yuzu - have chosen to use gamification and neuroscience. The values of immersion offered by the latest video game technologies allow the company to stand out, to benefit from online evaluation (therefore asynchronous) and finally to offer a quality evaluation by adapting the game scenarios to scientific research.
Test your candidates from home with Yuzu
Hard skills, otherwise known as technical skills, and diplomas are no longer enough. Human and transversal competencies such as soft skills are just as important if not more so.
According to our barometer, the 3 soft skills to prioritize in 2023 are Adaptability, Teamwork and Learning Ability but the skills you will target will have to depend on your criteria, issues or field of activity.
In terms of recruitment, the trend is towards "entrepreneurial" profiles: the skills highlighted illustrate the need for versatility, agility and continuous progress that companies are fond of.
Before accelerating your hiring and training processes related to these skills, our advice is: listen to your teams, encourage communication moments to define a strategy that will make sense.
Finally, choose assessment tools that are adapted to the job you are assessing. Think of the triptych: accuracy, candidate experience and equal opportunity.
By combining a good needs analysis with a good skills assessment, you will be able to achieve your goals very effectively in 2023.