Lack of soft skills major concern for digital and tech industry

Digital and tech managers believe the industry is suffering due to an over-focus on hard skills, according to research by The Candidate.

The study revealed 57 per cent of digital and tech managers feel there is too much focus on hard skills, while a further 69 per cent argue soft skills are often overlooked compared to the hard skills required for technical roles.

Accordingly, soft skills are seemingly more valued among managers, with 65 per cent ranking communication in their top three most important management qualities.

An astonishing 47 per cent of managers rated their own skills as either ‘average’ or below, with 19 per cent citing the ever-changing pace of the industry as the main reason they struggle to maintain the relevant skillset for their role.

Brian Matthews, managing partner of The Candidate, said: “It can’t be stressed enough the importance of quality managers in the digital sector, as it battles against a skills shortage that is preventing its expected growth. It’s great for emerging talent to have technical abilities, but it’s important not to overlook soft skills, too.

“It’s not particularly surprising that nearly a fifth of managers find that the pace of the industry makes it difficult to keep up with important skills. As the sector is constantly evolving and new skills are needed, there is a struggle of balancing training for both hard and soft skills. And it would seem that the latter is being neglected and this could be having a negative impact.

“Attitudes need changing within the industry so that we nurture the managerial talent that we have, in order to pass on important soft and hard skills. Otherwise, there is a risk of being left with an unbalanced and unhappy workforce that don’t have all of the skills required to keep digital businesses growing.”