Firms more partial to ‘rising,’ soft skills–report

BPO call center (File photo from CNN Philippines)

A NUMBER of tech skills and soft skills are among the qualifications most sought-after by employers from applicants amid the growing influence of automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace.

In its “Future of Skills 2019 Report,” LinkedIn said one of the top 10 “rising” skills that are in demand among companies is social-media marketing, which will allow them to promote product and services.

Also in demand is frontend Web development, which involves converting data to graphics or web site and “human-centered design” wherein solutions to problems are presented in “human perspective.”

Compliance and continuous technological integration are human traits apparently valued by employers, according to LinkedIn.

These skills, the American online professional network said, are particularly prominent in the Philippines.

Other valuable skills for the so-called fourth industrial revolution (FIRe) are the use of artificial intelligence; workflow automation; robotic process automation; blockchain; and gesture recognition technology.

“Soft skills, such as creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking, are [also] in demand to expand the application of new technology,” the report read.

LinkedIn said companies should determine if their employees already possess these skills to determine if they are ready for FIRe.

“Helping current talent to upskill or reskill early can help organizations ensure that their future talent needs are met,” said Feon Ang, LinkedIn vice president for Talent and Learning Solutions, Asia Pacific, in a statement.

“At the same time, employees need to be empowered and motivated to learn their own terms, given difficulties in finding time and accessing opportunities,” she added.  Both employers and employees’ group have already sounded the alarm over the possible mass labor displacement that may be caused by FIRe.

A study by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) estimates that around 800,000 workers in the local business-process outsourcing (BPO) sector are expected to lose their jobs due to automation.

BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) said the government could minimize this negative effect of FIRe by enacting a law that will ensure job security despite the shift to automation.

“This should give impetus to the government to advance more policies and legislation that will protect BPO workers’ rights,” BIEN National President Mylene Cabalona said in a statement.

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