US employers’ top ‘wants’ in communication skills – some surprises!

If you are an employer or an employee and are seeking to recruit someone new, what would you list as the top 10 types of communication skill you’d be looking for? Would you include people skills? Or integrity? Why/why not? This ‘GPC Latest Research Insight’ considers these issues in relation to a study that stimulated these questions.

Current and future skills for work: Where are the needs and gaps?

As organisations seek to recover from the multiple stresses of the last few years, and as many face problems recruiting qualified staff, it is important for all concerned to understand the needs and gaps in the skills required in the workplace, now and in the future.  This is the rationale for a research-based policy report published by the UK Department of Education in May 2022. The aim of the research was to identify areas where, both in the economy as a whole and in a small number of priority areas, there are both skills shortages and future growth is expected. Here I summarise some of the report’s key findings and reflect critically on them.

How important is ‘unity’ for group/team effectiveness?

any studies have examined the factors affecting group or teamworking effectiveness. One factor that has frequently emerged is ‘group cohesion’. But what does ‘cohesion’ mean and what helps enhance it? A recent article by Donelson Forsyth considers these questions by analysing relevant research over the last 25 years. He draws out some interesting findings which I summarise here.

Complaining in teams: Helpful or problematic?

Success or failure in teams is frequently linked with the ways in which team members communicate and relate to each other. Often the focus is on the problems that arise and how they can be handled effectively. But that is just one side of the story. It is also important to know what types of behaviour can impact positively on team relations. A recent study by Debray and Spencer-Oatey identified ‘troubles talk’ as one such behaviour.

Highly skilled migrants and underemployment

Why do highly skilled migrants encounter difficulties in obtaining a skilled job? How willing are organisations to recruit highly skilled migrants? These are two of the questions that Annette Risberg and Laurence Romani have explored in a recent study. They shift the focus away from analysing the skills and characteristics of the migrants (i.e. a deficit, individual-level approach) and instead explore the attitudes of recruiting organisations and ask “why do organizations underemploy highly skilled migrants?”