News & Events

It’s Time to Brush Up On Your Soft Skills in the Age of Remote Working, Part 1


Employment & Learning

YWCA Saskatoon’s Employment and Learning Centre remains closed for in-person programs in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.  We will continue to provide remote services via email, telephone, and social media (Facebook).

We believe it is important to maintain your job search momentum. As such the Employment and Learning Centre will offer you daily job search advice and support that you can complete from home.

Today’s post is another post in the series….

Any remaining doubts about the value of soft skills were likely abandoned in recent months as the pandemic forced the country to dramatically change its work practices overnight.

As companies began adjusting to the new normal, their staff were often challenged to demonstrate soft skills like resilience, empathy and agility while completely overhauling their communication, collaboration and other standard work habits.

In recent years, many Canadian employers have increased their emphasis on these soft skills, often citing the potential for disruption and uncertainty. Those efforts have been largely validated by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

According to a 2018 survey of business leaders by the Business Council of Canada, industry-specific knowledge and experience weren’t among the top five most important attributes of an entry-level hire. Instead, employers listed collaboration, communication, problem solving, analytical capabilities and resiliency as their top priorities. Furthermore, industry-specific knowledge and experience only ranked fourth among the attributes employers were most interested in among mid-level hires.

Employees and candidates alike ranked having a “purpose-driven and caring mindset” as the No. 1 trait they wanted to see in their leaders, followed by an embrace of technology and agility, according to a recent study by LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Canada Country Manager, Jonathan Lister, believes the data reflect how a new generation of employees is demanding a new type of leader, and the value of those traits has been validated by the pandemic.

“Employees expect leaders to be inspiring, to be emotionally intelligent, to have good listening and communication skills,” he says. “I think they’ve become more important because the workplace has changed reasonably significantly and continues to change.”

According to Mr. Lister, demand for skills training through the LinkedIn Learning platform has increased five-fold over the past year. Today, the most in-demand LinkedIn Learning programs offer training on less traditional workplace skills, such as mindfulness and stress management, how to give and receive feedback, and change management.

“With coronavirus, we’re getting a mix of personal and professional topics in the workplace in ways we haven’t before, and I think that’s putting more emphasis on the requirement for soft skills,” Mr. Lister adds. “The ones who have invested early in both hard-skills and soft-skills training have probably benefited the most.”

 Your Employment and Learning staff are working remotely through email or over the telephone.  Should you have any questions about resumes, job interviews, job interview questions, how to prepare, or how to answer those difficult questions, feel free to contact any of your Employment and Learning staff for support.  You can reach us at:

  • (306) 986-2873 [Telephone]
  • [Email].

Stay motivated; stay healthy as you achieve your employment goals.

 You can view the full original article by Jared Lindzon at The Globe and Mail, at: