Hard evidence in favour of soft skills

Posted on February 11, 2015 by

Boasting the very best work experience and a wealth of technical skills on your CV is of course something we all aspire to, but today’s employers are far more inclined to value soft skills, such as communication competence or team working expertise, than ever before.

Business Meeting, Silhouette

 British employers are more than 10 times as likely to plump for a candidate who can prove their communication skills in the workplace over ones with extensive experience, according to Adzuna research. The study, which analysed the language companies use in their job ads, reveals big spikes in demand for effective employees, strong communication skills and sky high levels of motivation to succeed, while extensive experience skills and a proven track record in the field are less of a priority.

Conducted in 2014, the research analysed over 2 million job ads across 11 countries to highlight the most sought-after attributes. Keywords were grouped into 4 categories; Qualifications & Skills, Experience, Interpersonal Abilities and Personality Traits.

An ability to be effective quickly is the most sought after attribute of 2014, with almost a quarter (23.3%) of all ads demanding traits such as passion, enthusiasm and proactivity. By comparison, only 1.3% of current job ads call for extensive experience in the field, while less than 1% of ads specify a preference for MBA candidates.

Top 10 most Used Buzzwords in the UK

Buzzwords Number of jobs Average Salary(per annum)
Effective 127,847 £33,465
Communication Skills 124,460 £30,144
Motivated 123,686 £29,592
Qualified 114,581 £33,380
Flexible 110,323 £27,009
Degree 93,319 £37,701
Passionate 91,384 £27,843
Challenging 89,566 £33,390
Track Record 68,960 £38,897
Results 67,963 £32,539

According to new campaigns by employers, soft skills are worth £88bn to the UK economy. And the debate is attracting some high profile voices, with fast food giant MacDonald’s arguing that soft skills should no longer be taken lightly, and working in alignment with Barclays to create more awareness about these important skillsets.

soft-skills-trainingRichard Florida in his book, ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’, attempts to explain the rising popularity of these soft and creative skills among employers. He argues that since the technology is filling a lot of gaps of once the preferred skills, it is the creativity of human beings that makes them desirable.

Julia Llewellyn Smith agrees in a recent article in The Independent, alleging: “that business gurus have pinpointed (soft skills) as the modern workplace’s most sought-after qualities. Including intangible attributes such as punctuality, flexibility, good communication and cooperativeness, soft skills are impossible to quantify but are, according to increasingly exasperated bosses, potentially far more valuable than exam results.”

With little doubt remaining on the value of communication and teamwork skills, and the desirability of enthusiasm and creativity, the onus is on candidates to highlight not only experience and qualifications, but also their ability drive the company culture forward.

At Adzuna, we do our best to match your CV with the right company and we hope that your soft skills will help you land your dream job. Happy Job searching!


Adzuna Job Market Report – January 2015

Posted on February 4, 2015 by

The UK weather may be turning cold, but the British job market is heating up, and expectations remain high. The only dark cloud over our employment prospects this winter is the spectre of  a skills shortage.

Photo: Stream

Photo: Stream

The Good News:

In December, available vacancies hit new record, with 968,273 advertised roles in the UK, up from 744,655 a year ago. With an impressive annual increase of 30% in available roles, 2014 undoubtedly ended on a high note for the jobs market.

The fearsome competition among jobseekers in the North of the country is receding with some significant improvements as all towns in UK saw less than 10 candidates per vacancy last month. Many areas of the North boasted significant improvements, with competition in Hull down from 16.7 applicants per role in December 2013 to just 4.6  in December 2014. Another key example of rising positivity in the North, Preston saw more vacancies than jobseekers for the first time in decades.


Photo: Adzuna

Photo: Adzuna

Competition for jobs also hit yet another milestone as the year drew to a close, with just 0.85  jobseekers competing for every vacancy. Nationwide, positivity abounded, as all 10 top job-hunting locations boasted two or more vacancies to every jobseeker

The Low Points:

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented: “The jobs market recovery is steaming ahead, leaving unemployment trailing in its wake. The number of jobs on offer has grown by almost a quarter over the last year, and we there are actually more vacancies available than there are people looking for jobs. Now, a new problem is rearing its head – we don’t have enough skilled workers to match demand for staff in booming industries like Manufacturing and IT. As a result, employers in these industries are offering more attractive salary packages, to tempt qualified workers across from their competitors.

“In recent months, the gap between inflation and pay has widened to a healthy margin, meaning employees are now seeing some real improvements in wages. But wider world events are working both with and against the wage rises. Falling fuel prices are forcing inflation downwards, but at the same time uncertainty in the Eurozone is dampening the economic recovery. And youth unemployment remains a thorn in the side of the jobs market revival. More needs to be done to help people break into the workforce – particularly those who are new to the jobs market and those whose skills don’t match up with the areas of growth. Encouraging employers to offer more apprenticeships to help workers up-skill on the job, would be one way to address this issue.”

So, where are all the jobs?

The North East tops the charts for salary growth, boasting the biggest year-on-year increases in advertised pay (13.7%). With Yorkshire & The Humber (12.3%) in second place, the South West, West Midlands, North West and Eastern England follow close behind, each with 10% growth.

The quota of available vacancies in London and Scotland both hit new records, with advertised positions in London rising to 202,114 while Scotland played host to 33,509 roles. Only two industries (the energy and legal sectors) saw sustained stagnation in advertised salary rates, one sector less than last year.

Drawing on Adzuna’s leading indicator data, the signs point to more good news to come. So, keep your eyes on the horizon for your next role. Best of luck!

Is this 2015′s craziest application?

Posted on January 28, 2015 by

When it comes to finding a new job, standing out amongst a crowded field of applicants can be tricky, but it certainly didn’t phase one candidate the Adzuna team came across this week. This intrepid jobseeker threw caution to the wind and with a straight-talking cover letter, bagged himself a new position!

Image from www.intermediair.nl

Impressed? Share this crazy candidate on Facebook and tell us about the wackiest job application you’ve ever seen.