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Senior decision-makers reveal that people skills are the most valuable asset employees can possess

Over two-thirds of business leaders in Britain (71%) consider people skills to be valuable assets for employees to have, according to research from Oxford Open Learning Trust.

people skillsThe YouGov survey of 500 business leaders, commissioned to support a new quiz based on modern GCSEs, looked into the skills and qualifications that employers consider to be valuable when looking for new staff to join their business and people skills came out on top.

Distance learning provider Oxford Open Learning Trust created the Would You Pass? quiz to put adults to the test and find out which questions from modern exams – like Citizenship and Health and Social Care – they would be able to answer correctly.

Each year, the Trust serves learners that might need an extra qualification such as a GCSE or A Level in order to get their desired job and start a new career.

When it comes to qualifications, senior management rate GCSEs as a useful level of examinations for employees to have completed.

Top 5 qualifications overall senior decision-makers see as valuable for employees

  1. GCSE Maths (51%)
  2. GCSE English (51%)
  3. A Level Maths (35%)
  4. A Level English (35%)
  5. GCSE Science (23%)

Less than one in five (19%) decision makers in businesses in Britain find an apprenticeship desirable when looking for potential employees to join their teams. Interpersonal skills were also seen as being more valuable than other business skills.

Top 5 skills overall business leaders see as valuable for employees

  1. People skills (71%)
  2. Team working skills (70%)
  3. Strong, effective communication (68%)
  4. Good computer skills (66%)
  5. Basic maths skills (65%)

Networking skills was the least selected by businesses, indicating this skill is the least important.

The list of valuable skills changed slightly in regards to different sized businesses. Larger businesses consider team working skills (79%) and people skills (73%) as the most valuable skills for employees to have.

Almost half (46%) of managers and owners of large businesses see creativity as a valuable skill for an employee to have, compared to just four in ten (38%) in medium sized businesses.

Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “It’s interesting to see which skills and qualifications business leaders see as the most valuable for potential employees joining their business to have.

“Hopefully it’s given some insight on what to highlight on your CV and application form and what potential employers are looking out for. I think interpersonal qualities rate more highly than general business skills as these are things that can’t be taught and should definitely be mentioned when applying for jobs.

“It’s never too late to learn new skills or take a GCSE, and our Would You Pass? quiz gives adults an idea of what some of the new modern GCSE exam questions are like.”

Click here to test your whether you’d pass some of the modern GCSEs now: