Top 10 Most Desirable Skills For Employers Right Now

What are the best skills for jobs employers are currently hiring for?

Knowing the most desirable skills for employers at any given time is a huge advantage to you recruiters. It enables you to understand more about the needs of your clients, and it also helps you identify the most valuable candidates in your database and where to source more.

There is an abundance of reports available to draw data on. But being PitchMe, we’ve analysed those sources for you and identified the most common in-demand skills. These will assist you in submitting more relevant talent to your clients, and enable you to add more value to their workforce. Both will enable you to get ahead of the competition and hit those KPIs.

Top 5 Hard Skills

1. Blockchain

2. Cloud computing

3. Artificial intelligence

4. Data analytics

5. UX design


It will come as no surprise to you that skills relating to IT, analytics and programming are among the most desirable skills for employers. According to CNBC, US employers posted 1.1 million tech job openings in the first quarter of this year. In the UK, it was a similar picture, with approximately 870,000 tech and digital job vacancies open from January to May, according to Computer Weekly.

Blockchain is the most desirable skill for employers

Number one on the list in the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia according to LinkedIn, blockchain has migrated from the world of cryptocurrency and become a sought-after business solution.

According to Microsoft, blockchain enables businesses to “create smarter and more efficient supply chains, reduce fraud, verify transactions faster, and create disruptive new business models.” Its benefits, as seen by many, are that it’s secure, decentralised, and cost-and-time-efficient. That probably explains why employers like IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Amazon – in total 44 of the top 100 public companies – have recruited talent with blockchain skills to help them pursue blockchain strategies over the past 12 months.

AI and machine learning are also highly valuable skills

Upwork, LinkedIn and Indeed were unanimous with their findings relating to artificial intelligence and machine learning: they’re in demand, and they’re likely to stay that way for the foreseeable.

AI and machine learning are valuable skills because they’re revolutionalising a wide range of industries – not least recruitment. As agencies look to automate routine tasks, derive insightful data, maximise efficiency and minimise costs, more and more will adopt the solutions designed by the talent possessing these sought-after skills.

As the number of companies looking to gain these wins grows, candidates with AI and machine learning skills will only increase in value.

Mind the skills gap

A contributor to the in-demand status of these hard skills is their scarcity. There’s a distinct gap between the requirement of jobs in these areas and what candidates possess in expertise.

According to Business News Daily, a skills gap exists in AI and machine learning, cloud computing, and data analytics. But this doesn’t have to be bad news for you.

By broadening your search using more diverse talent sources, you can find hidden talent. On top of that, by allowing automation to continually update the candidate info in your database, you can track changes in their skills as and when they happen – and before the competition. 

There are types of automation that allow you to go one step further. They enable you to draw on richer sets of data so that you can unearth hidden skills that candidates haven’t reported. When combined, these strategies will help you minimise the impact of any skills gap on you and your clients.

The good news doesn’t stop with the opportunities skills gaps provide you as a recruiter. Digital natives are gradually making up a greater proportion of the talent pool. Year after year more gen Zers enter the jobs market while millennials slowly but surely edge out gen Xers as the largest demographic in the workplace – they’re on track to make up 75% of the American workforce by 2025. This means more candidates with highly technical skills built in. The result? No more skills gap.

Top 5 Soft Skills

1. Creativity

2. Persuasion

3. Collaboration

4. Adaptability

5. Emotional intelligence


Hard skills are often very specific to a role. So when it comes to the most desirable soft skills, there’s a higher degree of consistency as time goes on – these skills are evergreen in terms of their value.

With technology rapidly changing the way we work, hard skills can become obsolete quickly. But by hiring people with soft skills, employers can ensure success. This view is explained by Becky Frankiewicz and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in the Harvard Business Review:

“In our view, the best way to make your organisation more data-centric and digital is to selectively invest in those who are most adaptable, curious, and flexible in the first place. Since nobody knows what the key future hard skills will be, the best action is to bet on the people who are most likely to develop them.”

The current cream of the crop in terms of soft skills – creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, emotional intelligence – are requirements of nearly any role you’re likely to recruit for.

There has been a definitive shift in terms of the way we value soft skills, with more than 61% of professionals in a recent LinkedIn survey saying soft skills in the workplace are just as important as hard skills. Add to that the whopping 89% of recruiters that agree when a hire doesn’t work out, it’s usually down to a lack of soft skills, and the significance of these traditionally overlooked attributes is revealed.

Creativity is the most wanted skill for employers

Of the most desirable skills for employers that aren’t technical in nature, creativity is at the top of the list. It’s what drives innovative solutions to problems. It includes openness to innovation and mental flexibility. In many sectors, creativity techniques are seen as a means to an end and are designed to achieve better results.

Employers see creative candidates as highly motivated, productive, more confident, expressive, and collaborative. And their valuation of this soft skill is only set to rise in the future; data from Education Scotland shows that 58% of employers expect creativity to grow in importance over the next three years.

Emotional intelligence is a new addition to the list

Attitudes toward personal well-being and inclusivity have gone through a period of expedited evolution over the past few years. So it comes as little surprise employers now regard emotional intelligence as a valuable soft skill.

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, is defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. And whilst it’s beneficial for everyone, it’s especially important for those in leadership positions. Emotionally intelligent leaders can empathise with others, communicate effectively, and manage conflict. All of these abilities are qualities of effective leaders.

Employers see candidates with this soft skill as self-aware, motivated, and empathetic. According to the study “The business case for emotional intelligence”, companies that studied the emotional intelligence of their leadership and workforce were able to measure many business benefits of this skill. For example, Pepsico executives selected for EQ competencies were 10% more productive, and salespeople at L’Oreal with a high EQ produced $2.5m more in sales.

The talent has these skills, the challenge is finding it

The problem with soft skills is the cat isn’t entirely out of the bag in terms of their value. Many candidates are still unaware they make up a large proportion of the most desirable skills for employers. This results in them often not reporting soft skills on their CV or jobs profile. So that poses a challenge: How do you supply the talent that possesses these skills to the employers that demand it?

One way is through data-driven automation solutions that look at a far broader range of digital sources to build a more in-depth and accurate picture of a candidate’s skills. They will look at things like memberships to professional organisations and engagement in hobbies, etc., and create a map of the skills that are associated with those pursuits. Often included in the resulting data are those invaluable soft skills they didn’t report.

PitchMe is one of those solutions. It draws on data from 40+ online sources to deliver accurate soft skills data to candidates’ profiles on your ATS.

To check out how it works, book a demo with us.

The bottom line

Keeping abreast of the most desirable skills for employers will enable you to deliver ever-greater value to your clients. Moreover, it will encourage you to reevaluate the way you source and search for talent, which in turn will help you build and maintain a more robust hiring strategy for the challenges of the future.