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World – Study outlines top skills recruiters are looking for

02 February 2012

Hays has published a study which claims that financial and budgetary, IT and green skills top the list of ten skills that Hays' global offices and clients commonly identify as being most in demand.

"Talent shortages are a global problem," said Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Japan. "We operate in 31 countries and these skills are the ones that our clients globally say are in most demand. For anyone considering their career options in our globalised economy, these are the skills to focus on.

"Our list is broken down by soft and hard (job-specific) skills and it shows there is a common global perception that candidates do not have a sufficient standard of soft skills. In terms of hard skills, current economic circumstances and long-term demographic trends are driving demand."

Hays' top ten global skills shortage list is:

Soft skills

  • Languages: A common theme among sectors and countries is the need for additional language skills. In our global economy, English has become the lingua franca for business. For those whose first language is English, being able to speak a second or third language with any ability is prized.
  • People and communications: This includes being able to work efficiently as part of a team, build relationships and present to clients and senior management.
  • Team management and leadership: A lack of these skills exists across the board. A possible reason may be a dearth of investment at the educational level and at the professional training level.
  • Organisational: Organisational skills are highly valued and something employers look for in candidates. Given the current global economic conditions, employers want staff capable of organising their day efficiently to make the greatest possible contribution to the business and add the greatest value.

Hard skills

  • Financial and budgetary: An increasing number of organisations are looking for greater financial and budgetary awareness, but in many countries there is a shortage of local candidates with these skills.
  • IT: Specific IT skills that are in short supply globally include knowledge of JAVA, .NET and C++, as well as IT skills specific to individual industries.
  • Green skills: This is a fairly new area, but a growing one, with particular demand in the green energy and construction sectors across all regions.
  • Procurement and negotiation: As businesses seek to cut costs and make savings, demand is soaring for skilled professionals capable of making these savings and getting the best deals.
  • Research and development (R&D): Technology, consumer goods, industrial and life science companies all foresee severe R&D skill shortages.
  • Healthcare: As people live longer, the requirement for healthcare grows. But the lack of healthcare professionals poses a considerable threat for the global economy over the next 20 to 50 years.

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