What Do Statistics Say About Soft Skills?

Dr. Purushothaman
December 7, 2013

Wikipedia defines statistics as the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.
Statistics from multiple studies can help identify a need or a trend. Listed below are seven different studies that all point to the need for soft skills in the workplace today.

Association of American Colleges & Universities
• A recent employer survey found that 93% of employers agree that a candidate's demonstrated soft skills are more important than their undergraduate major.
Posted: 6/12/13

Carnegie Institute of Technology
• Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge.
Posted: 4/12/13

Robert Half
• Paul McDonald of Robert Half said "The notion of soft skills being 'nice to haves' in the workplace is dead," McDonald said. "These abilities are now ESSENTIAL, and can often determine advancement potential and overall career success."
Posted: 5/5/13

Manpower Group
In the Manpower Group's 2012 Talent Shortage Survey,
• Nearly 20% of employers cited a lack of soft skills as a key reason they couldn't hire needed employees. "Interpersonal skills and enthusiasm/motivation" were among the most commonly identified soft skills that employers found lacking.
Posted: 9/20/12

Training Magazine
Training magazine survey of 700 human resources managers said
• Sixty seven (67) percent of HR managers say they would hire an applicant with strong soft skills (such as organizational communication, teamwork, problem solving and diplomacy skills) whose technical abilities were lacking;
• Nine (9) percent would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills. Why? The overwhelming majority (93 percent) of HR managers feel technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.
Posted: 07/01/12

Society for Human Resource Management
In an August 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management to validate previous employer surveys in Rhode Island, according to the R.I. Governor’s Workforce Board,
• 52 percent of 50 responding firms said their job candidates need work-readiness skills and 28 percent said there was a need for communication skills.
Posted: 11/19/12

The Graduate Management Admission Council, a nonprofit organization of graduate management schools, reported in its 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey that
Among qualities recruiters look for in graduate job applicants are:
• Leadership - 51%
• Goal orientation 46%
• Motivation 36%
• Professionalism 36%
• Innovation 35%

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