MORE THAN 90 per cent of business leaders and human-resource directors believe that graduates with soft skills will be increasingly important as globalisation speeds up and organisational structures change, according to Hay Group, a global management cons
Nine in 10 believe that em-|ployees with strong people skills deliver a bigger commercial im-pact, while 88 per cent describe employees with an aptitude for people skills as “worth their weight in gold”.
Data analysis of more than 40,000 employees worldwide from psychometric assessment specialist Talent Q, part of Hay Group, shows that graduates have as much potential as senior managers for self-awareness, self-control and teamwork, and more potential for empathy.
Despite very different education systems, levels of both general intelligence and potential for soft skills are very similar among graduates around the world.
While graduates have potential, 75 per cent of respondents said |they had the impression that entry-level graduates were not prepared for the working world.
Some 80 per cent said they struggled to find graduates with the soft skills they needed and 86 per cent said that keeping hold of graduates with those skills was a concern.
Lucy Beaumont, solutions director for Talent Q, said yesterday that despite what many employers think, research demonstrated that today’s graduates had just as much potential to succeed as any other generation, in terms of both cognitive ability and soft skills.
“It is up to the businesses to ensure that this potential is realised by recruiting and developing graduates in the correct way,” she said.
Organisations need to screen graduates objectively to identify those with high potential. Once recruited, they should support graduates to quickly develop the emotional and social skills required, including self-awareness, self-control, influence, empathy and teamwork.
This ensures graduates are prepared to negotiate in the workplace and rapidly make an impact. It also guards against those who might otherwise struggle to get along, Beaumont said.
“In fact, more than half of the
graduates we surveyed said they’ve considered leaving their job because they ‘don’t fit in’.”
Pattaree Pruttitammakul, a consultant at Hay Group, said it was crucial that organisations were able to identify the right graduates. But once in, organisations need to realise and develop their graduates through their first four months – turning their young hires into team players and ensuring they make a positive impact within the business.
Using innovative assessments such as personality self-assessments and adaptive online tests will help organisations find and recruit the best people from a large pool of graduates.
“Using an innovative business app can help your graduates master the emotional and social skills they need to excel at work. Consequently, organisations will be more likely to retain graduates, and graduates will be more likely to meet or exceed business leaders’ expectations.”