A survey by recruitment specialist Drake International revealed soft skills are in high demand among employers to accommodate long-term plans to continue working remotely. More than 100 respondents from a wide range of industries and roles were surveyed this February to gauge Australians’ attitude toward remote work and the skills needed to support it.
What was the scope of this survey
Employees were asked how many days they ideally like to work from home, and 60% said one to three days while only 20% prefer a return to full-time hours spent in the workplace.
“This suggests a huge portion of workers prefer a flexible, hybrid work environment and will likely continue to be the case even when COVID is a thing of the past,” said Tanya Anderson, Recruitment Manager at Drake International.
The survey found that organisations that have been working remotely consider the following soft skills to be the most critical to productivity:
- Communication at 84.5%
- work ethic at 47.6%
- adaptability at 38.8%
- and time management at 38.8%
Other desired skills include dependability at 31.1% and collaboration at 30.1%. Skills of less appeal include problem solving at 14.6%, emotional intelligence at 13.6%, critical thinking at 3.9% and creativity with just 1.9% respondents regarding it as a ‘critical’ skill.
“In Australia’s shift to remote work, some employers were all of a sudden witnessing some employees finding the remote work environment challenging for a number of reasons,”
“Technical skills and abilities that allow some team members to thrive in a physical workplace quickly became less important as we saw some ‘soft skills’ became invaluable in this new autonomous environment.” says Ms Anderson
The survey helps deduce these actions.
An overwhelming 93.3% said they would continue to prioritise the aforementioned skills in future recruitment. Ms Anderson concurs, suggesting “employers need to be mindful of recruiting based on certain soft skills.”
“Technical skills will remain important and continue to evolve however, with a significant shift toward hybrid working models, some soft skills have become nothing short of absolutely essential, such as communication and work ethic.”
“The best way for recruiters to find these skills in potential candidates,” says Ms Anderson, “is through psychometric testing. Psychometric assessments are necessary in recruitment today as they provide valuable insights into certain behaviours and attributes of a candidate.”
“Employers need to understand the decision-making style, communicative qualities, energy levels and the motivation levels of candidates, as well as the ability to self-monitor.”
“These are all important traits to consider when recruiting for more autonomous roles which are becoming more common as so many companies move toward a flexible hybrid working arrangement between the workplace and home.”
Ivan Tandyo, CEO and founder of 11th Space, which provides entrepreneurs with business skills required to grow their business, can attest to the benefits of psychometric testing. “Psych testing with Drake in the interview process has really helped us find the right people and helped enormously with staff retention rates.”
“It allows us to assess who will be a productive worker if the entire workforce is working remotely for a long period of time, which is incredibly important to us as we work offline within our office. It means we can hire the right people which in turn improves productivity, harmony and the overall dynamic within our team.”