Employers are looking for workers with soft skills in 2024

Generative AI tools are changing the game for many workers in the job market

Employers are looking for workers with soft skills in 2024

With 2023 seeing the increase of Canada’s unemployment rate, the tide of the labor market has turned back to the favor of employers. Experts reveal the skills and industries that are set to have a high demand in 2024, as reported in an article by CTV News.

Amid a slowing economy, cybersecurity will be one of the top industries needing to hire new people, according to Tarek Sadek, executive director at Toronto Metropolitan University's Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “Cybersecurity, I believe it's going to continue regardless [of the economy] because this fits in with what is needed, not just what is possible,” Sadek says.

Many large Canadian organizations have experienced cyberattacks over the past year, leading to the growing demand for jobs relating to cybersecurity.

With cybersecurity breaches and issues occurring “on a regular basis”, people who have cybersecurity skills will be “high in demand,” says Mike Shekhtman, senior regional director at Robert Half.

AI and the job market

A trend that has also been on the rise is the use of AI, which experts believe will have an impact on the job market in the long run. While there is still a small number of employers looking for people with AI skills, data from an Indeed.com report found a 0.06 percent increase in job postings mentioning generative AI by the end of October 2023, a number that was “virtually zero.”

“The kind of maturity we're reaching with AI right now, actually, is changing the game a little bit. Even small companies, even individuals can improve their productivity using AI,” says Sadek.

“I expect more of exponential growth in the next year or two,” he adds.

Shekhtman argues that generative AI will mostly highly impact those with “repetitive high volume, data entry-related positions.” While Brendon Bernard, senior economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, believed that jobs requiring physical work were less likely to be replaced by AI in contrast to white-collar jobs.

The demand for soft skills

As AI continues to progress, Sadek notes that interpersonal soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, critical thinking, problem solving, time management, emotional intelligence and communication will be more important.

“AI will help us to be more productive, but it's not going to replace us,” he says.

Shekhtman supports this as he explains how the pandemic has come to affect the dynamics in workplaces.

“The ability to communicate effectively and have the critical thinking in today's landscape is probably more evident than ever before,” says Shekhtman.

“Whether it's managing remote and hybrid teams, as added layer complexity to pulling projects together...it's going to be something that many executives are going to look for in terms of examples of how people have been able to adapt and drive businesses forward,” he adds.