The importance of social skills for the future of work
Piercy, G. L., & Steele, Z. (2016). The importance of social skills for the future of work. New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management: Special Issue: ‘The Future of Work’, 16(1), 32–42.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12519
Technological change and precarity has made social skills increasingly important in the workplace for both permanent and non-permanent staff throughout the labour market. This is especially true for those in precarious work located in the growing service sector. We argue that, in order to avoid staff becoming redundant due to technological change, which invalidates their ‘hard’ technical skills, it is crucial that Human Resource (HR) practitioners to recruit on the basis of soft skills. However, we also argue that simply recruiting soft skills is not enough to ensure the workplace has access to the kinds of social skills that are required. Providing all staff with opportunities to develop and practice their skills is essential as these are the hardest tasks to automate since customers favour personal engagement. Furthermore, for employees, cultivating and maintaining easily transferable social skills is a key part of remaining relevant in an employment relations environment where precarity is a by-product of labour market flexibility.
Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
This article is published in the New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management. Used with permission.