Top 5 Skills Employers Report Difficulty Finding Talent: Why You Should Upskill

Top 5 Skills Employers Report Difficulty Finding Talent: Why You Should Upskill

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Why you should upskill

Have you noticed that employers are constantly on the lookout for qualified candidates? This ongoing search is driven by a variety of factors, including the evolving needs of the market, technological advancements, and the desire to stay competitive. As industries and technologies advance, the skills required for jobs also change, leading employers to seek individuals who possess the latest skills and knowledge.

Employers are interested in candidates who have the technical skills required for the job but also soft skills that enable them to work effectively in teams, adapt to new challenges, and continue learning throughout their careers. These non-technical attributes are crucial for success in any workplace, and many employers report difficulty finding talent who possess them.

Here’s a Breakdown of the Top 5 Skills Employers Struggle to Find:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: The ability to analyze information, identify problems, and develop effective solutions is a cornerstone of success across industries. Employers need employees who can think independently, approach challenges creatively, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: The modern workplace thrives on collaboration. Employers seek individuals who can work effectively within teams, communicate openly, and share ideas constructively. Being a team player demonstrates the ability to prioritize the collective good, fostering a positive and productive work environment.
  • Communication Skills (Written and Oral): Clear and concise communication is paramount. Employers need candidates who can articulate themselves effectively, both verbally and in writing. This includes active listening skills, the ability to tailor communication to different audiences, and the confidence to present ideas persuasively.
  • Leadership: Leadership isn’t just about titles. Employers value individuals who can take initiative, motivate and inspire others, and delegate tasks effectively. Leadership potential can be demonstrated in various ways, even in entry-level positions.
  • Professionalism and Work Ethic: A strong work ethic demonstrates dedication, reliability, and a commitment to excellence. Employers seek individuals who are punctual, meet deadlines, and take ownership of their work. Professionalism encompasses a positive attitude, respectful behavior, and the ability to adapt to a professional work environment.

What Does the Report State?

There are several factors contributing to the skills gap. The rapid pace of technological change means some educational programs struggle to keep up with the evolving needs of the workforce. Additionally, traditional education often does not explicitly emphasize soft skills, leaving some graduates unprepared.

India’s Net Employment Outlook (NEO) is the highest among 41 countries, according to the survey, which examined 3,100 firms in various states and sectors. The calculation of the Net Employment Outlook involves deducting the percentage of employers who anticipate a decline in employment at their location in the upcoming quarter from the percentage of firms who anticipate a rise in hiring activity.

India’s Net Employment Outlook is the highest among 41 countries. The calculation involves deducting the percentage of employers who anticipate a decline in employment at their location in the upcoming quarter from the percentage of firms who anticipate a rise in hiring activity.

The World Economic Forum has highlighted the importance of specific skills that are expected to be in high demand. These include analytical thinking, creative thinking, and expertise in AI and big data, predicted to top the list of in-demand skills by 2027. Leadership, social influence, curiosity, and lifelong learning are also anticipated to see growing demand. It is estimated that six in ten workers will require training before 2027 to meet these evolving skill demands​ Employers worldwide continue to grapple with the challenge of finding skilled talent. According to the ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey, a staggering 81% of employers express difficulty in locating talent with the necessary skills. Let’s go into the details:

  • Information Technology (IT): The tech industry remains at the forefront, with employers seeking professionals skilled in areas like software development, cybersecurity, and data analytics.
  • Sales and Marketing: Organizations are on the lookout for individuals who can drive revenue growth, understand market dynamics, and effectively communicate with customers.
  • Engineering: Engineers, especially those with expertise in mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, are in high demand.
  • Operations and Logistics: Efficient supply chain management, logistics, and operations professionals are essential for seamless business processes.
  • Manufacturing and Production: Employers are challenged to find candidates with a blend of advanced technical and soft skills.

India’s Talent Shortage Since 2014

Source: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey 2024

The Global Talent Shortage Since 2014

The Global Talent Shortage Since 2014

Source: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey 2024

The Better Path: Why You Should Upskill

Upskilling is essential for several reasons, impacting individual career growth and organizational success. Here’s why:

  • Education and Training: Consider taking courses, attending workshops, or pursuing a degree to develop new skills or enhance existing ones.
  • Keep Up with the Times: Shifting business practices and technology breakthroughs, industries are changing quickly. By maintaining your knowledge and abilities up to date, upskilling makes you appealing to companies, now and in the future.
  • Online Resources: Many free and paid online resources can teach valuable skills.
  • Adaptability: Adapting to new challenges and environments is crucial in today’s job market. Upskilling enhances your adaptability by equipping you with a broader range of skills, allowing you to pivot more easily between roles or industries if necessary.
  • Increased Opportunities: Skills open doors to a wider range of job options, giving you more control over your career path.
  • Higher Earning Potential: As mentioned earlier, skilled jobs typically offer better salaries and benefits.
  • Job Satisfaction: Using your skills and knowledge in a meaningful way can lead to greater job satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
  • On-the-Job Training: Some employers offer training programs to help employees develop new skills.
  • Economic Resilience: Certain occupations may become outdated as technology and artificial intelligence continue to alter industries. By ensuring that your skills stay in demand despite technology advancements, upskilling in fields that are less likely to be automated can help you maintain some degree of job security and economic resilience.


Remember, the job market is constantly evolving. As industries transform and new roles emerge, the value of possessing in-demand skills cannot be overstated. By prioritizing personal and professional development, you ensure not only your importance in the current market but also secure a firm foundation for future opportunities. Whether it’s seizing the initiative to learn new technology, enhancing your leadership abilities, or cultivating a mindset of lifelong learning, upskilling is a critical step toward achieving lasting success and fulfillment in your career. The journey of self-improvement is both a personal investment and a strategic career move, underscoring the importance of adaptability and continuous learning in navigating the complexities of the modern workforce.

Considering the rapid pace of change in the job market and the increasing importance of continuous learning, upskilling is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity for anyone looking to remain competitive and successful in their career. By investing in your skills development, you’re not only enhancing your current job performance but also paving the way for future opportunities.


1. What is the number 1 skill most valued by employers?

The number one skill most valued by employers is often considered to be communication. Effective communication is crucial in almost every job role, regardless of the organization that one works. Employers desire team members who can interpret instructions accurately and communicate effectively with others. This includes skills in writing, speaking, listening, and negotiating. Also, employers value communication because it directly impacts productivity and the workplace environment.

2. What would you consider to be the talent’s top 5 soft skills?

When considering the top 5 soft skills that define you and are highly valued by employers are:

  • Communication Skills: Being able to express ideas clearly, listen actively, and adapt communication styles to different audiences is crucial. It involves clarity in speaking and writing, active listening, and the ability to convey the message to the team members.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Employers highly value if you can analyze complex situations, identify solutions, and make informed decisions. It demonstrates critical thinking, creativity, and being resourceful.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: Being open to change, learning new skills, and adjusting to shifting priorities are essential.
  • Time Management and Organization: Efficiently managing tasks, prioritizing responsibilities, and meeting deadlines are critical soft skills. Employers seek individuals who can balance multiple projects, maintain focus, and stay organized.
  • Teamwork: Being a good team player involves collaborating with others, showing empathy, and contributing to a positive working environment.

3. What are 5 important soft skills that employers look for in potential employees?

  • Adaptability: Being able to adjust to changes and remain flexible to face new challenges is important. Employers value employees who can turn around quickly and learn new skills as needed.
  • Problem-solving: This skill is about resolving issues as they arise. It involves being proactive in identifying problems and developing solutions before they cause significant impact.
  • Time Management: Effective time management means prioritizing tasks, managing workloads, and meeting deadlines. Employers appreciate employees who can efficiently manage their time and are reliable in completing tasks.
  • Work Ethic: Employers look for employees who demonstrate a strong work ethic, which includes dedication, responsibility, and a positive attitude. This often translates into employees who are committed to their jobs and willing to go the extra mile to achieve success.
  • Conflict Resolution: The ability to manage and resolve disagreements effectively is important in maintaining a peaceful workplace. This skill requires strong communication, empathy, and negotiation abilities.

4. What are the top skills employers look for?

  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Teamwork Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Digital and Technological Competency
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Data Analysis
  • Project Management

5. What are the benefits of hard skills?

  • Job Qualification: Having the necessary hard skills can qualify you for specific roles and tasks within an organization, making you a suitable candidate for employment.
  • Increased Productivity: Proficiency in hard skills allows employees to perform tasks efficiently. Whether it’s coding, data analysis, or operating machinery, having the necessary technical skills boosts productivity and ensures effective work performance.
  • Employee Engagement: When employees possess the right skills, they feel more confident in their roles. This confidence translates into higher engagement levels, as they can tackle challenges with competence and contribute effectively to team projects.
  • Career Advancement: Mastery of relevant skills is often essential for career advancement. Employers typically look for individuals who can perform complex tasks and handle greater responsibilities.
  • Innovation and Problem Solving: Certain skills, especially those involving technical proficiency or analytical capabilities, enable them to contribute to innovation within their field.
  • Job Satisfaction: Employees feel satisfied when they can perform their tasks well, meet goals, and contribute meaningfully to the organization.

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