In the WFH era, soft skills like public speaking and persuasion are not so essential after all

In the WFH era, soft skills like public speaking and persuasion are not so essential after all
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  • The work from home era has changed the course of skill sets that employers are now looking for while hiring talent pool.
  • Persuasion and public speaking skills will no more help you get a job, salary hike or promotion.
  • Companies are now looking for a growth mindset, creativity and other soft skills — which showcases that work is all that matters now.
India possesses the best tech talent but only few ever make it to team leading roles due to lack of soft skills like public speaking abilities or persuasion.

The tide has now turned for techies and most others across sectors, as employers are now discounting these skills in a post-pandemic world where most people are working from home.

“Interestingly, persuasion (-6%) and public speaking (-12%) saw a de-growth, highlighting that these skills were not at the forefront for employers,” said a report by Indeed.

New-age soft skills

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The new-age ‘soft’ skills that employers now look for are not so soft either. The report says that growth mindset is the skill that they now search for the most, its importance rising by 194%.

“This ability is usually defined as believing that a professional can develop his capabilities through dedication and hard work, that learning is always part of the process, and that resilience is critical to achieving results,” the report says.


The second most ‘searched’ skill is creativity, rising by 72%; followed by critical thinking and autonomy both of which are 45%.

“Autonomy is — being able to plan and work in the way that is most conducive to their own best performance -- also grew in the last two years,” the report said.

Soft skills can differentiate

For employers, soft skills are differentiating factors especially when they have to choose from a large and equally qualified talent pool – employees who can help them provide that ‘edge’ in innovation and growth.

The pandemic has redefined what it means for businesses to have talent with equal amounts of soft skills as technical skills. Now more than ever, organizations which are placing a lot of emphasis on hiring the right talent, as most of them like startups are at an aggressive growth stage.

The other soft skills that employers are looking for include resourcefulness, decision making, time management, teamwork, adaptability and problem solving.

Soft skills, unlike technical or hard skills, are not about the knowledge possessed but behaviours displayed in different situations.

“Because these are often innate personality traits, job seekers already possess several marketable soft skills that might help them get and be successful in a job. Though many are formed with one's personality, soft skills can also be learned and developed with practice and experience,” said Saumitra Chand, career expert at Indeed.

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