February 28 ,2017 | by Claire Payne

Employers consider people skills most valuable asset for employees

Employers consider people skills

People skills have been named as the skill that business leaders believe is the most valuable for employees to have in a new survey from the Oxford Open Learning Trust.

The research, which was carried out by YouGov, surveyed more than 500 senior decision-makers and identified the soft skills that are the most desirable to employers when it comes to recruiting new staff. Over 70 per cent of respondents cited people skills as the most valuable.


Team working skills was found to be the second most valuable asset, cited by 71 per cent of decision-makers, followed by strong and effective communication at 68 per cent, good computer skills at 66 per cent and basic math skills at 65 per cent.

The research showed that the type of skills desired by employers differed depending on the size of the business, with larger businesses being found to favour team working skills and people skills, cited by 79 per cent and 73 per cent of respondents respectively.

Managers and owners of larger businesses were also found to favour employees with creativity, cited by 46 per cent, compared to 38 per cent of employers in medium-sized companies.


Commenting on the findings, Oxford Open Learning Trust Founder and Courses Director, Dr Nick Smith, said: “It’s interesting to see which skills business leaders see as the most valuable for potential employees joining their business to have.”

He added that it is certainly positive for those people who are thinking about changing their career, as adults will have gained a lot of these qualities already working in previous positions, while school leavers and graduates will not yet have developed people skills.

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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