LinkedIn has created a major market for buying and selling job skills. They have 30 thousand companies using LinkedIn to recruit with 3 million jobs posted. With clear insight into the supply and demand curves for job skills, LinkedIn provides reports of where the biggest gaps are between supply and demand by metropolitan area.
When I was running a large technology organization, I asked people to create the resume they wanted to have a year or two from now, and to look at what they needed to do to make that resume come true. It provided focus for their development, and openness to the fact my team was in high demand by recruiters, and we did not have to pretend it was not true. My message was, “If you are valuable to others, you are valuable to us. I just ask that you talk to me before taking an offer someplace else.” When there is clarity about how to provide value, everyone wins.
Minneapolis / St. Paul Example
- Project Management
- Management Accounting
- Employee Learning & Development
- Manufacturing Operations
- Product Development
- Business Management
- Inside Sales
- Product Marketing
The skills shortages are where demand exceeds the supply. They are listed where #1 is the biggest shortage:
- Oral Communication
- People Management
- Time Management
- Public Policy
- Social Media
- Development Tools
- Web Development
- Problem Solving
- Graphic Design
Improved communication and management skills are well represented on the list of needed skills. Being in the business of helping improve these in demand skills, it looks encouraging. It is striking to me that Oral Skills, People Management, and Time Management are high on the list. It may suggest that the technology world has overwhelmed oral communications. Many people, and not just the younger generation, spend life looking at their mobile phones rather than people.
Watch people in elevators looking at their phones rather than interacting. Parents spend precious time at the dinner table checking text messages or social media accounts. Maybe we all need to develop the most in-demand skills identified by LinkedIn.
Assuming these are important skills today whether you are looking for a job or to improve performance in the job you have … there is good news. All three of these involve paying attention and keeping perspective.
There is a particular and unique opportunity for effective oral communication both in speaking and listening. It engages the emotions in a productive way that text messages or email cannot duplicate. It is particularly true in people management. Time management is an age-old challenge made even worse by the continual barrage of messages trying to capture your attention.
It may require choosing to be calmer and more thoughtful at certain times.