Magazine article Talent Development

Mind the Soft Skills Gap

Magazine article Talent Development

Mind the Soft Skills Gap

Article excerpt

A recent survey sizes up the American workforce's skills gaps.

The skills gap that has employers worried isn't the technical skills gap, but the soft skills gap, according to recent survey results from Adecco. Soft skills include those that aren't easily measured, such as communication, problem solving, and emotional intelligence.

A majority of executives interviewed (92 percent) admit that there is a gap in U.S. workforce skills. Surprisingly, only 22 percent of executives believe that this gap was technical in nature. Nearly half (44 percent) believe that American workers lack the soft skills necessary to help a business succeed.

What is causing the dearth of soft skills among American workers? Fifty-nine percent of the executives surveyed blame higher education. Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, echoes this sentiment. He says the rising cost of attending colleges and universities have put these institutions under pressure to produce students with hard skills. Meanwhile, soft skills, such as critical thinking, are filtered out of curriculums. …

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