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Global – Machines can’t perform hardest-to-find, most important skills

19 January 2017

Hardest-to-find skills can’t be performed by machines according to a new survey of CEOs around the globe by PwC.

For example, “creativity and innovation” was cited as a difficulty skill to recruit for by 77% of CEOs, but they ranked it as the fifth most important skill — in addition to technical business expertise — to their organisation.

Other hard-to-find skills included:

  • “Leadership” was cited by 75% as difficult or somewhat difficult to recruit for, but CEOs ranked it as the fourth most important skill for their organisation.
  • “Emotional intelligence” with 64% citing it as a difficult-to-recruit-for despite ranking as the sixth most important skill for organisations.
  • “Adaptability” was cited by 61% as a tough skill to find despite being the second most important skill for organisations.
  • “Problem solving” was cited as hard to find by 61% of CEOs despite being ranked as the No. 1 skill in terms of importance to companies.

“The skills they consider most important are those that can’t be replicated by machines,” according to the report. “In fact, they’re precisely the qualities required to stimulate innovation — the area CEOs most want to strengthen to capitalise on new opportunities.”

When asked whether they were relying more on contractors, freelancers and outsourcing to find the skills they need, 27% of CEOs either agreed or strongly agreed that they were. However, 35% disagreed and 11% strongly disagreed.

The research included data from 1,379 CEOs in 79 countries.

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