Employers Want Workers With Management and Leadership Skills

Soft skills are increasingly important as employees look for good managers and adaptable workers.

February 17, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—LinkedIn ranked the most in-demand job skills for 2023, and topping the list are management and leadership abilities, reports Fortune. These skills highlight a demand for supervisors who can effectively and efficiently collaborate, as oftentimes workers don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.

The eight remaining skills on LinkedIn’s list are customer service, communication, sales, research, project management, marketing, analytical skills and teamwork. According to LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill, “The list makes sense for where we’ve been in the country in the last three years.”

“The world of work is really changing quite a bit and to see the top skills on the list include things like communication, customer service, sales, project management, research and analytical skills—those to me speak to the fact that companies have done an incredible amount of hiring and they’re now thinking: ‘How do we make sure that our culture at work is one where people want to stay?’” he told Fortune.

McCaskill says that many hiring managers and companies are focusing less on a specific degree, school or previous employer. They’re now looking for skills and placing more importance on people who have abilities that match the job. CNBC reports that 76% of companies are using skills-based hiring to fill open roles, with more than half (55%) using role-specific skills tests to vet candidates.

“Virtually every industry has been transformed by technology, new ways of working and a global pandemic. So those prospective job seekers who are able to bring soft skills to the table can help some employers feel more confident and say this is a person who can adapt,” McCaskill told Fortune.

According to LinkedIn, global talent shortages have reached a 16-year high, as 75% of employers can’t find the talent they need with the right blend of technical and soft skills. Plus, the U.S. job market is still tight. There are 11 million job openings at the end of December, which is still nearly double the number of unemployed people looking for a job.

“As business needs continue to evolve, the skills gap will only widen over time unless employers and their team members focus on upskilling and reskilling,” writes Jen Dewar, marketing expert, on a LinkedIn blog post. “Focusing on the most in-demand skills can help ensure that employers have the talent they need to address their changing business needs and that workers maintain relevant skill sets.”

?Last month, the U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs, crushing estimates, while unemployment hit a 53-year low. The leisure and hospitality sector added 128,000 workers last month, leading all other sectors, up from 64,000 new jobs in December. The retail sector added 30,000 jobs.

NACS has partnered with The Good Jobs Institute on how c-store operators can provide “good jobs,” which are jobs that meet people’s basic needs and offer conditions for engagement and motivation. The Good Jobs Calculator, designed exclusively for NACS members and the convenience industry, allows retailers to use their own data and customized assumptions about the amount of improvement or uplift achievable, enabling executives to run scenarios on the bottom-line impact of a Good Jobs system.

Economic conditions like employment and inflation have had a huge impact on the convenience retail industry in the past two years. At this year’s NACS State of the Industry Summit, John Benson of AlixPartners LLP will share key insights during a session titled “U.S. Economic Outlook for 2023 and Beyond.” Registration is open at convenience.org/soisummit.