The company’s Workplace Learning report reveals the most in-demand soft and tech skills and highlights the importance of a proactive focus on employee development.
Flexibility is the buzzword in business lately, and to become an agile organization you need to develop more relevant skills, according to LinkedIn’s 7th Annual Workplace Learning Report.
Prioritize learning and development for employees
Even with the lots of layoffs in big tech in recent months, turnover and skills shortages remain a struggle for talent development professionals, the report said. At the same time, 93% of organizations are concerned about employee retention, but only 15% say their organization has encouraged them to move into a new role.
The report calls for an emphasis on learning and development, noting that 89% of learning and development professionals believe proactively building employee skills will help navigate the evolving future of work. While skills for jobs have changed by about 25% since 2015, that number will double by 2027, according to the report.
“Amid today’s macroeconomic uncertainty, companies are shifting their talent strategies to focus on skills,” said Linda Jingfang Cai, vice president of talent development at LinkedIn. “Leaders and development leaders are at the heart of this work, empowering employees to close skills gaps, help redeploy talent to the most strategic areas of the business and ultimately build workforce agility.”
As a result, 82% of world leaders agree that the human resources function is more important now than ever before, Jingfang Cai said. In addition, more than two-thirds of learning and development professionals (68%) help their organization navigate economic challenges, according to the report.
“This is important because what the average worker wants and values today is fundamentally different from just three or five years ago,” said Jingfang Cai. “Employee values change for us, even if we don’t change the employees.”
A surprising finding was that the youngest workers, aged 18 to 34, value career growth, learning and skills-building opportunities the most, even when it comes to work-life balance, Jingfang Cai said.
Most requested soft and technical skills
The most in-demand skills for this year include management, communication and leadership. While these skills are sought after every year, especially in today’s hybrid work environment, “employees are investing in employees who have the soft skills they need to connect effectively with colleagues across time zones and platforms,” said Jingfang Cai.
According to the report, the top 10 skills companies need right now based on paid job postings, as well as standout skills from professionals who received a message from a recruiter on LinkedIn or were hired in the past six months, are as follows:
- Customer service
- Project management
In IT, the most in-demand skills by position are:
- Microsoft Office
- Project management
- Analytical skills
- Customer service
- cloud computing
- Python language programming
“Talent leaders know that finding talent with (these skills) is key to building a more resilient and flexible workforce,” said Jingfang Cai.
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Budget forecast is promising
The budget outlook for 2023 is “relatively confident,” the report noted, speculating that it “may be because L&D is primed for a big impact.” Some 41% of L&D leaders expect to have more purchasing power this year compared to 48% in 2022.
While the number is down slightly from last year’s high, “it still represents the third most optimistic outlook in seven years of tracking,” the report said.
Only 8% of L&D professionals expect their budgets to fall, the report said.
More key findings from this LinkedIn survey
- People crave career advancement: Around the world, employees’ main motivation for learning is “progress toward career goals.”
- Learning is key to retention and recruitment: Three of the top five factors people consider when pursuing a new job reflect their desire to expand, grow and develop new skills.
- The five most important factors when considering a new job: Compensation and benefits, the flexibility to work where people want and when, challenging and impactful work, opportunities for career growth within the company and opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
LinkedIn said it surveyed 1,579 global L&D and HR professionals with L&D responsibilities who have some influence on budget decisions, as well as 722 students.
Read more: Report: The ROI of Upskilling and Other Employee Learning Programs (TechRepublic)