Canadian Employers Favor Soft Skills Over Results

Contrary to the fears of thousands of graduates every year, 32% of Canadian employers value staff flexibility over experience and results according to the latest research from job search website Adzuna.ca. The study, which analyzed the language companies use in their job ads, reveals big spikes in demand for flexibility and communications skills, while qualifications and results were less of a priority.

The study, conducted in April 2017, analyzed hundreds of thousands of job ads across Canada to highlight the most sought-after attributes. The results show a sustained shift away from qualifications, experience and results and towards flexibility and enhanced communication skills for employers in Canada.

Flexibility was the most sought after attribute of 2017, with 32% of all ads demanding the ability to adapt to a fast-changing business environment and quickly to change. Only 13.4% of current job ads seek highly qualified candidates, while a mere 11.4% of ads call for workers who love to overcome challenges.

Although fewer hiring managers are hunting for results-oriented employees, those who do value this trait are prepared to pay top dollar, with an average advertised salary of CA$65,870. By comparison, for flexible team members, recruiting experts only offer an average CA$49,739.

The analysis also shows a new trend in language being used to lure top talent. There are currently 8,000 employers looking for Experts. Demand also exists for 6,000 Influencers, 222 Superstars and 204 Gurus. Thought Leaders can command the highest salaries, with average offers of CA$109,000.

The skills employers are prioritizing are also changing, with data science, AI and machine learning capabilities drawing the highest salaries. Expertise in Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, however could attract far lower offers from employers

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The reality of what managers really want may come as a pleasant surprise to graduates across the country as Adzuna’s latest research shows soft skills like flexibility, adaptability, communication skills and working well as a team far outweighs the importance of degree classification or experience. The Class of 2017 should give some thought to how they can best communicate their valuable transferrable skills to potential employers.”

“Beyond that, Canadian employers clearly have their eyes on the future, with huge investments in staff with data science and AI backgrounds, and less emphasis on tactical social media experience. A trend away from funky job titles is also emerging, as demand for Ninjas and Overlords declines, while Thought Leaders, Experts and Influencers are growing in popularity.”

“When looking for skill sets that will drive their businesses forward, hiring managers are increasingly plumping for flexibility, top notch communications skills over qualifications and previous results.”

Data tables follow:

Table 1: Top 10 most used Buzzwords in Canada

Table 2:Top 6 wacky job titles that pay 

Table 3: Top paying new skills and job ad language

About Adzuna:

Adzuna is a search engine for job ads used by over 10 million visitors per month that aims to list every job, everywhere.  We search thousands of websites so our users don’t have to, bringing together millions of ads in one place. By providing smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, we give jobseekers the information they need to take control of their careers.

Adzuna was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay and is backed by leading Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures.

Adzuna’s mission is to be the best place to start looking for a job. We love using the awesome power of technology to help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep Canada working.

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