Robots can't emote

In the age of AI, importance of soft skills is rising. As per a LinkedIn study, 92% of hiring managers say soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills in hiring process

Latest News
Robots can't emote


The workplace as we know is changing rapidly and one of the most unsettling developments is the rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Some experts argue it will lead to job losses while others say it will create new roles bringing about a positive disruption.

According to a new survey by LinkedIn, with the rise of AI/automation, 80% of global hiring managers agree that candidates with soft skills are increasingly important to the success of a company and 92% say they matter as much or more than hard skills when they hire. “In fact, it could make or break of hiring the perfect candidate as 89% feel that bad hires typically have poor soft skills,” the report said.

In India, 95% of talent professionals said soft skills are very important to the future of recruiting and HR, as per the professional networking platform's annual Global Talent Trends 2019 report.

In fact, a recent World Development Report also stressed that with automation, the nature of work will evolve. While automation is eliminating many low-skill, routine jobs, it's also creating opportunities for different, more productive and more creative jobs. “Instead of less advanced skills that can be replaced by technology, employers will increasingly be looking to hire people with advanced cognitive skills, like complex problem-solving, teamwork, reasoning and communication talents,” the report said.

While soft skills are gaining importance, the LinkedIn report says most companies still struggle to assess them accurately and only 41% have a formal process in place to measure them.

“This growing disconnect between the demand for soft skills and the inability to identify them is reaching a tipping point. Some companies are starting to get serious about assessing them by standardising their evaluations, trying unorthodox approaches, and turning to AI-powered tech solutions,” the report adds.

One problem area regarding soft skills outlined in the report is that they are often approached less directly. In fact, 68% of talent professionals say the main way they assess them is by picking up on social cues during interviews such as “she seemed upbeat, so she's probably a good collaborator.” The problem is that these perceptions aren't predictive, and worse, they're often unconsciously biased.

While hard skills are about doing specific technical tasks, soft skills are more about the way to do them, like your ability to creatively solve problems or work within a team. As automation and AI continue to reshape entire industries, companies and jobs, strong soft skills — the one thing that machines can't replace—are becoming absolutely vital.

In India, 87% of respondents said candidates with strong soft skills will be increasingly important to the success of their organisation. However, only 53% say their companies have a formal process for assessing soft skills.

“Effective and harmonious interpersonal communications skills do lead to better team work, leading to an increase in productivity. Soft skills are an important requirement in employer branding as well because your employee is your company's biggest spokesperson. But these could be honed with training as well,” says Payal Sondhi, assistant general manager – human resources, SILA.

“Organisations these days are hiring personal coaches to conduct soft skills trainings, which is helping at large in creating a balance with the other qualities,” she adds.

Besides soft skills, work flexibility, anti-harassment and pay transparency are the other key trends as per LinkedIn that will impact the future of human resources (HR) and the recruiting industry across the globe.

The report said 67% of talent professionals in India agree workplace flexibility is extremely important. On anti-harassment policies, 87% of professionals in India agree that harassment prevention is a very important trend, compared to just 71% globally.

On pay-parity, around 71% in India said the top benefit of sharing salary ranges is fostering greater job satisfaction but 78% also fear that this will create salary disputes.

"On the one hand, developing markets like India, Mexico and Brazil assign greater importance to soft skills in shaping the future of recruiting and HR. On the other, developed European and American counterparts assign greater importance to the role of work-flexibility," the report said.

“We are in the era of millennials where work flexibility/remote working and transparent payment structure is among the top reasons behind agreeing to work with an organisation. The ones who are giving these benefits are a preferred employer. An anti-harassment policy is a must-have today. It's not about having a mandatory policy but it is about creating awareness that certain actions are non-negotiable and there would be consequences to them. Hiring an employee now is beyond hiring a resource to work on the given tasks. It is about adding an asset who would not only add value to the organisation but also grow along with it. Hence, managers today do follow listed parameters when it comes to recruitment,” says Sondhi.


  • 95% – Of talent professionals in India said soft skills are very important to the future of recruiting and HR
  • 53% – Say their companies have a formal process for assessing soft skills
Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv