Why Soft Skills

What the global experts say


Soft skill development is a global phenomenon

A UK report in 2015 found that by 2020, over half a million UK workers will be significantly held back by a lack of soft skills. The same report also found that soft skills contributed £88 billion to the UK economy at time of publication  – with this expected to increase to £109 billion during the next five years.

So critical was the need for a soft skills developed workforce that Tesco, McDonalds and a range of public institutions created the "backing soft skills" campaign to increase awareness and promote the need for soft skills development across the UK. Statistics from the US and across the globe support the growing need for humans soft skills in our increasingly technology-dependent world. In Australia and across the planet, soft Skills are the new drivers of business performance and growth.

Global soft skill Insights...

11 Essential Soft Skills Every Great Communicator Should Have.

While every great communicator has their own style, all of them have a few core traits in common. We asked a panel of Forbes Communications Council members to share the most important soft skills expert communicators must possess.

Soft skills are critical for career success, even in tech

Success = 85% soft skills and 15% hard skills
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center have all concluded that 85 per cent of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15 per cent of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).


Soft skills training brings substantial returns on investment - both companies and workers benefit.

They found that a 12-month soft skills training program that focused on communication, problem solving and decision-making, time and stress management, financial literacy, legal literacy and social entitlements, and execution excellence delivered substantial returns.

Be selfless - invest in yourself

According to Editor of HRM magazine Amanda Woodward: "It will be important to have a portfolio of skills, and investing in ourselves and our development will be crucial to being employed, and living the lives we want. Keeping pace with changing technology will be crucial to this, but so will the soft skills that robots can't do: these will be increasingly sought after."

The real skills gap

Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center has concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). This research finds its beginning with the work of Charles Riborg Mann from a Study of Engineering Education in 1918. There is a span of almost 100 years since Mann published his findings. But, what have we done with this information learned so long ago?

Google tests its hiring hypothesis

In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998.

The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

Jobs are changing and we need a huge shift in education

Anything that is routine or repetitive will be automated,” said Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics, in a session on Saving Economic Globalization from Itself. She also spoke of the importance of “the soft skills, creative skills. Research skills, the ability to find information, synthesise it, make something of it.”

Why soft skills matter

When it comes to taking soft skills seriously training should be top of the agenda for a business that wants to promote individual and organisational excellence. Training and continued personal development are at the core of EY’s values, and while hard skills are developed through the firm’s professional qualifications, on-the-job training and global learning curriculum, soft skills are given equal attention through schemes such as mentoring, coaching and counselling (career development and performance reviews).

Soft skills are in high demand across the world. Why not up-skill yourself today? View our range of fast, practical soft skills courses.