There is a great deal of research out there in the public domain that explores and analyses what skills employers are seeking most in their new recruits. From an HR perspective, Talent teams will do their best to gain these skills from the external workforce, but this research is also invaluable intelligence for L&D operations in terms of targeting their budget for internal learning and development.

I came across an insightful piece of research recently from the World Economic Forum published in 2016 and looking at the Future of Jobs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. WEF surveyed 350 employers across 9 industries in 15 of the world’s largest economies. The report findings make for very interesting reading and I will summarise the headlines in terms of predictions for the 10 most sought-after skill-sets in employees for 2020.

In reverse order, the top ten are:

10 – Cognitive Flexibility. The ability to multi-task in the mind and to be able to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Underpinning skills will include creativity, logical reasoning, and problem sensitivity as part of the core skill set.

09 – Negotiation Skills. The social skills to be able to find and reach an agreement with others.

08 – Service Orientation Skills. The ability to find ways to help others.

07 – Judgement & Decision Making. The system skill to analyse data and to make optimised decisions.

06 – Emotional Intelligence. To be aware of other peoples’ reactions and why they react in a certain way.

05 – Collaboration. To be able to work as part of a team and adjust your actions in relation to others.

04 – People Management. To be able to motivate and develop people and to know the best people for a job.

03 – Creativity. How to apply new technology to create new products and services.

02 – Critical Thinking. To be able to use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of solutions.

01 – Complex Problem Solving. This remains the number one skill and 36% of all jobs across all industries are expected to require complex problem-solving abilities as a core skill by 2020, according to the report.

The Course-Source library of eLearning content offers organisations learning resources to support and underpin development programmes aimed and increasing many of the above priority skills – click on the links on each skill area to review a list of content relating to each subject area.