LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has released the 2019 Global Talent Trends report, revealing the top trends shaping today’s relationship between employers and employees. The report explores a number of the latest trends shaping this relationship: soft skills, work flexibility, and pay transparency.
Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Middle East and Africa, said: “Every year, LinkedIn releases top trends to watch out for. We talk to thousands of hiring professionals and analyse our data to understand the latest trends, challenges and solutions. This year, our goal was to help companies recognize the evolution of the employee-employer dynamic as it moves to a more transparent, trusting and reciprocal relationship.”
Soft skills: Where machines can’t compete
With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, measuring a candidate’s hard skills alone is no longer an indication of a successful hire. The Global Talent Trends report revealed that nearly all (93%) talent professionals in the Middle East and North Africa region said that soft skills are very important to the future of recruiting and work. Creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management are listed as the most in-demand soft skills companies need and value in 2019, but are the hardest to find according to LinkedIn data.
While everyone agrees soft skills are extremely valuable, most companies still struggle to assess them accurately. The report revealed that only 41% of companies globally even have a formal process in place to assess them. And in fact, 68% of talent professionals globally said that they assess soft skills by picking up on social cues in interviews.
Identifying poor soft skills during an interview is challenging, which is why they’re often discovered too later, usually after a hire has been made. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, a bad hire is almost never a matter of hard skills alone with 89% of talent professionals globally reported that bad hires typically lack soft skills.
Flexible working: no longer a perk
In today’s fast-paced world, technology has taken work beyond the traditional confines of the workplace and fixed office hours. In response, employees want to reclaim their work-life balance through being more flexibile and have the freedom to work where and when they want, within reason.
Over three-fifths (65%) of talent professionals in Middle East and Africa said work flexibility is very important to the future of recruiting and HR. 77% of talent professionals globally said that the top benefit of work flexibility is greater work-life balance. It also helps employers retain (54%) and attract talent (51%) while boosting productivity (42%).
With flexible work lives now a top priority for candidates, employers respond by increasingly promoting their flexible policies in job posts. According to LinkedIn data, in just the last two years, there’s been a 78% increase in job posts on LinkedIn globally that mention work flexibility.
Pay transparency: breaking the taboo
The topic of salaries has always been a confidential and even taboo topic in the workplace. Employers fear that disclosing too much about employee salaries could cause wage disputes, limit their ability to negotiate and encourage competitors to poach talent. However, the Global Talent Trends report reveals that salary transparency may outweigh these fears.
Over half (54%) of talent professionals in Middle East and Africa said that pay transparency is very important to the future of recruiting and work. However, only a quarter (27%) of talent professionals globally stated that their company is transparent about salary ranges, and out of this group, 67% said they share salary ranges with candidates early in the hiring process, and 48% share ranges publicly on job posts.
According to talent professionals who practice it, the benefits are clear. For them, pay transparency makes the hiring process more efficient by streamlining negotiations and ensuring fair pay across gender and race, and other demographics, creating more trusting and transparent relationship with all employees. This not only sets salary expectations with candidates early on, but can also clear up misinformation that hurts employee morale and retention.
There has been a 136% increase in pay transparency discussion shared on LinkedIn since 2014.
The methodology for the report is a combination of surveys with 5,164 talent professionals and hiring managers from 35 countries and an analysis of behavioural insights from the billions of data points collected on LinkedIn. The report helps to inform how Human Resources (HR), talent acquisition and business leaders should approach their recruiting strategies for the coming year. It also offers fresh insights into the changing behaviour of jobseekers and the future of work.