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Most Sought After Skills for Innovative Companies

What makes potential employees attractive to employers is the talent and skills they bring to the company. But it's not always easy to understand what talent or skill you might need for a position, especially if it's a new role. Often though, you will know it when you see it.

That's why many employees and employers are expanding their development programs. As a corporate employee tasked with training and retraining your company's talent pool, keeping your skills sharp helps to ensure your company is getting what they need.

To be clear, skills are transferable across industries. However, there are different categories of skills found in employees and what employers seek. Depending on the industry and your company's specific needs, the talent and skills you look for might be slightly different.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are intangibles. These are the skills and talents employees bring that are more inherent to who they are and are more challenging to teach. Each of these skills can provide your company with more efficient and engaged employees. Here are some of the top soft skills to look for:


Companies obviously need creative employees. Creativity is one trait that helps companies move forward and innovate. Without creativity, we would not have the iPhone or personal computers.

This level of innovation results from extremely creative employees. Creativity, in its purest form, is the ability to bring forth new (and potentially scary) ideas.


Right along with creativity is persuasion. If you are presenting a wild new idea, like an iPhone, you must be persuasive and show leaders of the organization why this idea is worth pursuing. And that's where the persuasion trait is most is important - the ability to explain why. 


More brains working together are better than one brain working in a silo. Collaboration is key to any company's ability to grow and innovate. But many people become territorial and think their way is best, without giving proper consideration to anyone else's viewpoint.

This prohibits collaboration and stymies the organization's ability to grow. As a person tasked with retaining top talent, part of your job is to ensure collaborative people are on your team.

Emotional Intelligence

Collaboration goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence. If a team member can accept another's viewpoint as equal to or better than their own, this shows emotional intelligence.

Having this trait in employees is important to your team's ability to work together cohesively as a unit and produce top-notch results. 

Hard Skills

If soft skills are the intangible traits of employees, then hard skills are the learned traits, things like math and science. Hard skills provide a much-needed set of talents to your organization and these will vary depending on what your company does, needs, and creates.

Understanding the answers to those questions will help you ensure you fill all the gaps and have the right employees on your team.

In today's world, hard skills also change rapidly. While this list includes the most in-demand hard skills today, this list might look quite different in a year or two as companies innovate and change their demands.


Blockchain is the means by which cryptocurrency is stored. It is a complex, highly encrypted way to store, validate, authorize, and move data across the internet. There are relatively few people who have a full understanding of this skill.

Cloud Computing

This is a catch-all for nearly all business internet uses. Most companies no longer use computer software stored on individual computers or on servers stored in a closet in the office. Most companies today use internet-based programs that allow them to run their business from anywhere and store data remotely.

Data Analytics

Data is important. Look at the success of Google and Facebook. They are not only extremely successful because of the services they provide. They are also successful because of the data they collect. And that data is what runs businesses.

Companies make decisions off the data but only when they can interpret the data correctly. That takes an employee with the talent necessary to collect, understand, interpret, and explain the data to leadership and help guide them in making decisions.

Artificial Intelligence

This might seem odd on this list of human talent. But artificial intelligence, today at least, is meant to augment the human workforce. When an employee understands and can harness the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer processes to help the company innovate, those employees have a hard skill worth retaining. 

Hone Your Skills

The world is evolving at a faster rate than ever before. Many people refer to this time period as the fourth industrial revolution where skill sets and talent are changing at a rapid pace to keep companies innovating. Employee development is more crucial than ever because of this rapid change we currently experience.

For both employees and employers to remain at the top of their game, they must invest in each other. To do that, employers provide employees with additional training to increase and expand their hard and soft skills.

In turn, employees give those new skills back to the company through expanded innovation and creativity which helps to increase the output of the organization. When the company helps employees develop, employees return the favor by using their new skills and talents for the company's benefit.

Learning new skills and how to implement these skills presents challenges. The best way to learn new skills is through active learning and participation. Equip your talent toolbox through hands-on workshops with world-class innovators at Asia's largest experiential conference, Corporate Innovation Summit 2020.