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LinkedIn says these 5 traits pose the biggest skills gap — and it's a global problem


The impact technology is having on our daily lives is undeniable — and it's being felt as much in the way we work as in how we communicate, shop and even travel.

By 2022, technology is expected to have displaced 75 million jobs globally, according to new research from LinkedIn. Yet, within that same time period, it says, those same forces will have created 133 million new ones.

It's hardly surprising then that the top 10 rising workplace skills in Asia Pacific are all related to tech, according to the professional networking site's new "Future of Skills" report.

Ranging from front-end web development capabilities to social media marketing know-how, the company says those skills "may be nascent now but will potentially see wide-scale adoption in the future."

But while tech expertise may be useful for pursuing new career paths, the key professional traits that are likely to persist over time and across industries are actually soft skills, says LinkedIn.

And these are the skills that employers globally are finding it hardest to find, Feon Ang, LinkedIn's vice president for talent and learning solutions in Asia Pacific, told CNBC Make It.

Feon Ang, vice president for Talent and Learning Solutions, Asia Pacific, LinkedIn, speaking at LinkedIn's Talent Intelligence Experience (TIE) Singapore.

"The rising skills are of little surprise," said Ang. "But the soft skills are also ones that will be highly important globally going forward."

Specifically, the soft skills that are lacking include:

  • Critical thinking or problem-solving
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Innovation and creativity

Speaking at LinkedIn's Talent Intelligence Experience event in Singapore Wednesday, Ang said those skills are readily "learnable," and are not innate traits. However, they require commitment from both employers and employees.

"It's everybody's responsibility," said Ang. "It's the employer's responsibility to invest in employees. But it's equally important for employees to make the effort too."

More than two in five employees say they have left a company because of a lack of learning and development opportunities, LinkedIn's "Future of Skills" study found.

It's all about putting yourself out there, becoming uncomfortable and just honing those skills.
Feon Ang
vice president for talent and learning solutions, Asia Pacific, LinkedIn

To overcome the perceived hurdles of the skills gap, Ang encouraged employees to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to learn additional skills. That could include taking on new projects at work, seeking mentorship, and participating in educational courses.

"It's all about putting yourself out there, becoming uncomfortable and just honing those skills," said Ang.

"You just have to be okay with not being great (at something)," she continued. "Because the more you do it, the more you will become better."

The "skills gap" was one of three mega trends identified by LinkedIn's "Future of Skills" report as affecting the workforce of today and tomorrow. Though largely interrelated, the others were "independent work" and "AI (artificial intelligence) and automation."

Don't miss: These are the 10 most in-demand skills in Asia Pacific right now, according to LinkedIn

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