Study: Times of crisis are changing the requirements for future employees - which soft skills are becoming more important

An evaluation of 48 million online job advertisements shows: In the crisis years, social skills are much more in demand in the world of work - employees should now also bring prudence and empathy.

Study: Times of crisis are changing the requirements for future employees - which soft skills are becoming more important

An evaluation of 48 million online job advertisements shows: In the crisis years, social skills are much more in demand in the world of work - employees should now also bring prudence and empathy.

Crises such as the pandemic or the shortage of skilled workers have put the working world under pressure and, according to a study, have significantly changed the requirements that companies have of future employees. So-called soft skills, i.e. cross-professional skills such as social and communicative skills, have gained in importance, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation's "Job Monitor" published on Thursday. Around 48 million online job offers were examined between 2018 and 2021.

A key result: in 2021, employers demanded prudence much more frequently (plus a good 70 percent) - also referred to as "frustration tolerance" in the study - than in 2018. Empathy has become more important (plus 39 percent). And the ability to motivate and a positive attitude were much more in demand in 2021 than in the pre-pandemic year of 2018.

According to the authors of the study, the increase in working from home due to the pandemic is also making itself felt: The importance of handling data securely has grown - a skill that was requested 62 percent more often in online job offers last year than in 2018. It is fitting that in times of video conferences instead of face-to-face meetings or business trips, qualifications such as presentation skills or negotiating skills are noticeably less in demand.

However, the "Jobmonitor" also shows that "classic core virtues" continue to be at the top of the "soft skills" in demand, as it was said in Gütersloh: commitment is required in almost half of all offers, teamwork in almost a third of all online job advertisements . Self-employment is also still very popular afterwards. For these "classics", the job offers offered online were also analyzed until August 2022, said a spokesman for the foundation.

Another result: knowledge of German is increasingly becoming a key competence in demand in many sectors. According to the authors of the study, this makes it clear how much the shortage of skilled workers and at the same time the willingness to hire foreign specialists have grown. Knowledge of German is now expressly required for every fourth job, in 2018 this was only the case for every fifth job offered.

The data from the publicly accessible "Job Monitor" could provide important data for jobseekers, entrepreneurs and employment agencies, stressed Matthias Ziegler from the Humboldt University in Berlin as one of the authors of the study.

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