Australia and Global Soft Skills News 

Soft skills are defined as driving collaboration, emotional intelligence and communication – the things that facilitate interactions between people. The single most important soft skill is communication.

Technical (hard) skills and knowledge are essential for a business to do its job well, but organisations are finally realising that soft skills drive performance. Soft skills are the new drivers of business performance and growth.

Soft-skill intensive occupations are expected to account for two-thirds (63%) of all jobs in Australia by 2030, yet there is a significant skills shortage in the Australian market. 

LinkedIn's 2022 Workplace Learning Report

“It’s unsurprising that we see more and more progressive companies naming chief learning officers — as was the case with chief diversity officers when diversity was no longer an HR topic but a business advantage. Learning is not an HR topic; it’s a business topic.”

Andrew Saidy, Vice President, Global Talent, Ubisoft


Six soft skills you need in your workforce

Soft skills are people skills and as workforces become increasingly diverse, employers are on the lookout for team members with strong people skills. Soft skills are integral for team cohesion and productivity. Soft skills are made up of personality and behavioural traits like manners and attitude and they shape how we interact with co-workers and managers. Though harder to quantify than hard skills, which are the technical skills an employee needs to perform their job, soft skills can set a job seeker apart from their competition. 

Benefits of soft skills

A workplace that prioritises soft skills sees constant employee career progression, higher retention rate and higher levels of employee satisfaction 

Essential soft skills in the workplace

1. Communication

2. Critical thinking

3. Leadership

4. Teamwork

4. Positive attitude

5. Work ethic

What skills make a ‘job ready’ public servant? 

Demand for talent with soft skills

If you are a job-seeker gunning for a job in the public service, current market conditions are favourable but standing out as a candidate who best fits the bill will always help your chances. 

This is what those shaping policy on how to hire the best public servants have earmarked as the most desirable, ‘job ready’ skills:

· Resilience and personal management, including prioritisation, time management and delivery.

· Teamwork and collaboration.

· Communication – in particular quality argumentation and writing skills.

· Learning agility, curiosity and creativity.

· Critical thinking, judgement, problem-solving, research and analysis skills, which includes a level of data literacy employers expect of prospective employees

Nearly all, or 96%, of employers in Australia consider soft skills to be either more important or equally important to a candidate’s hard or technical skills, according to research from Hays Australia.

Based on findings from Hays, 81% of the nearly 3,500 employers surveyed say teamwork is the most important soft skill they require in their permanent staff today. 

This is followed by skills in problem solving (79%), communication (74%), adaptability (70%), critical thinking (63%), time management (60%) and emotional intelligence (53%).

“Soft skills are those crucial personal attributes that relate to how you work and behave,” Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand said. “While technical capabilities ensure you can do a job, it’s soft skills that allow someone to function well in a workplace. For example, soft skills ensure you can share and discuss ideas, forge effective relationships with stakeholders, work with others to solve problems and accurately look at information to come to the best conclusion.”

Soft Skills for the Hybrid Age 

The world is advancing, and the workforce is going hybrid. Do you have the skills needed to keep up?

The COVID-pandemic and rapid digitalisation have flipped the way we work on its head. There’s no longer choosing between in-person or remote work. Companies have embraced the best of both worlds to create a commonplace hybrid model.

So what soft skills do employees need these days to succeed in this hybrid age?

Remote Work Skills

Collaboration and Project Management

Presentation Skills

    Soft skills for business success 

Soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030. DeakinCo. asked Deloitte Access Economics to assess the importance of obtaining and measuring soft skills to better understand areas that need to be improved in the Australian workforce and businesses.

A workforce with a broad mix of skills is crucial for business success and national prosperity. Businesses with more skilled staff have higher rates of innovation and productivity. And academic literature has found a consistent relationship between human capital and economic growth.

But do we fully understand the workforce skills necessary for success? Soft skills are also referred to as employability skills, enterprise skills and they are transferable between industries and occupations. They include things like communication, teamwork, and problem solving, as well as emotional judgement, professional ethics and global citizenship.

Quick facts: 

- 2/3 jobs will be soft skill intensive by 2030

- Soft skills of employees could increase revenue by more than $90,000

- Soft skill intensive jobs will grow faster than other jobs

- 42% of businesses need leadership skill development for the digital future

- The level of soft skills of employees account for of the productivity gap between the best and worst performing firms

- Recruiting for candidates with the right skills costs $7 billion annually 

- Businesses spend $4 billion on training and developing employees every year



Human Resources leaders in the APAC region are promoting the importance of soft skills, also known as behavioural skills, more than ever. The pandemic demonstrated that employees at every level need agility, critical thinking, complex problem solving, creativity, and communication skills. As the crisis wears on, leaders with empathy are taking centerstage and changing the prevailing image of a strong executive. 

Data shows that soft skills are gaining importance in the workforce. The number of jobs in soft-skill intensive occupations is expected to grow at 2.5 times the rate of jobs in other occupations, according to Deloitte Access Economics. In addition, China is forecast to grow the soft skills training market at 57% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), according to Yahoo. By 2030, two-thirds of Australian jobs will be focused on soft skills, according to Deloitte Access Economics

    • 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases, according the the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report. 
    • Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years. 
    • Newly emerging this year are skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
    • Respondents to the Future of Jobs Survey estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less.

    Half of us will need to reskill in the next five years, as the "double-disruption" of the economic impacts of the pandemic and increasing automation transforming jobs takes hold.

    That's according to the third edition of the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report, which maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change and direction of travel.

    But the very technological disruption that is transforming jobs can also provide the key to creating them – and help us learn new skills.

COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the need for the new skills in the workforce, with social and emotional skills in high demand. There are lots of articles about the soft skills that employers are focused on developing or prioritising after COVID-19. We’ve drawn inspiration from these articles and summarised some of the main soft skills below. If you can master these skills, then you’ll make yourself an attractive employment prospect in any industry!
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Team Work
  • Work ethic 
  • Positive attitude

It’s no secret that today’s businesses are facing a variety of internal challenges. Leaders everywhere are attempting to inspire workforces as they face a continuing global pandemic, technological transformation and increased competition. And as reports of the Great Resignation continue to sweep the nation, it has become clear that many are failing to realize the true impact of these rapid changes: misalignment between leaders and employees, as well as deteriorating company culture.

How can organizations adapt to better align with their employees’ needs and help combat turnover? The answer is multi-faceted, but it begins with adjusting our organizational approach to professional soft skill learning, which is commonly overlooked in today’s rush to digitalization. Soft skills, also known as common or core skills, are the highly transferrable, non-technical skills that relate to how one works, such as leadership, problem-solving and communication, to name a few. In taking a step back to consider the top organizational values and employee needs, today’s leaders can establish a sustainable, long-term strategy for employee skill development that ensures increased retention and employee satisfaction.

  • Recognize evolving employee needs and the learning they demand
  • Build a specific and thoughtful skill development strategy
  • Provide learning opportunities that stick