‘Communication’ is the most sought after soft skill says research from Adzuna.

Soft skills base.

New data from job search engine Adzuna.co.uk has found that when it comes to seeking out new employees, ‘communication’ is the most sought after soft skill. In total the organisation found 10.9 per cent of ads mention ‘communication’ within the job description, highlighting the value of showing off soft skills in both CVs and during interview processes.

‘Communication’, mentioned 116,261 times across the 1.1million job adverts analysed, was closely followed up ‘organised’, mentioned 87,747 times (8.7 per cent), and ‘Planning’ mentioned 83,322 times (7.8 per cent), rounding off the top three most sought after soft skills for employment in the UK.

Table 1: Top five soft skills

Skill Job ad mentions Industry with most mentions  per cent of total job ads
Communication 116,261 Accounting and Finance 10.9
Organised 87,747 Accounting and Finance 8.3
Planning 83,322 Healthcare and Nursing 7.8
Flexible 65,450 Healthcare and Nursing 6.2
Motivated 57,620 Teaching 5.4


Featured in the top ten soft skills were ‘focused’, ‘confidence’, ‘customer service’, ‘initiative’ and ‘independent’: illustrating the range and variety of personable qualities that are in demand by employers. The research discovered that Accounting and Finance, Healthcare and Nursing, and Teaching industries all have particular emphasises on specific soft skills. Communication is particularly sought-after in Accounting and Finance roles where 17 per cent of job ads mention the term, compared to 10.9 per cent of job ads across all industries. Furthermore, 14.9 per cent of Healthcare and Nursing jobs require ‘Flexibility’, and 13.7 per cent of Teaching jobs mention ‘Planning’, compared to only 7.8 per cent across UK jobs in general.

“For job seekers, highlighting your soft skills alongside your hard skills will put you at an advantage when attempting to impress potential future employers,” says Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna. “Hard skills give the technical elements for proficiency in a role and assist in meeting vocational requirements, however soft skills can often be more highly regarded than ticking the boxes of certain qualifications and workplace experiences. Companies are not just looking for a candidate who can do the job, but someone who will harmonise with the business and its pre-existing staff.”

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