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Unlocking success: The why and what of employability skills

By October 26, 2023November 22nd, 2023No Comments

In today’s dynamic job market, securing employment is more than just having technical know-how. It’s about being a well-rounded professional who can communicate effectively, adapt to changing environments, and innovate. The vital attributes that make one a desirable candidate have a name – Employability Skills.

Research* reveals that:

  • Employers actively seek candidates with well-rounded skills and individuals with strong employability skills are likely to be hired quickly and at a higher wage.
  • Individuals who possess these skills enjoy a 7% higher job availability rate.
  • Individuals with strong employability skills exhibit a 30% increase in overall performance and have greater longevity in their jobs.
  • 89% of an employee’s job success comes from employability skills.
  • Many urban jobs require only strong employability skills (e.g., sales, retail ops, front desk hospitality)
  • 30-40% of the future jobs (2030) will depend largely on social-emotional skills.
  • A staggering 89% of early employee failures can be attributed to the absence of essential employability skills.
  • Individuals with identical technical skills but superior employability skills receive wages that are 26% higher.


At Wadhwani Foundation, we understand the significance of these skills, and are committed to nurturing them in line with our mission to enable over 10 million individuals across the globe to acquire new-age employability skills to help them be job-ready, setting the stage for millions
to attain family-sustaining wages.

Towards this, we conducted a survey with 1100+ companies to understand their perspectives on employability skills and the skill gaps they are challenged with.

Our analysis indicated that:

  • Most organizations rated employability skills high on the list of things they evaluate while hiring talent.
  • A majority of companies view these skills as crucial and are willing to pay a premium for candidates who possess them.
  • Employers placed significant value on softer aspects, beyond domain knowledge.

So, what are these sought-after yet elusive employability skills or competencies?

Here’s a quick view:

  1. Effective Speaking and Listening Skills
    • ​​​​​​​Give and Seek Opinions Effectively
    • Workplace Conversations
    • Active Listening
  2. Impactful Writing Skills
    • ​​​​​​​Constructing Meaningful Sentences
    • Describe Experiences
    • Effective Purposeful Writing
  3. Self-Presentation
    • ​​​​​​​Making a Great First Impression
    • Non-verbal Communication
    • Group Discussions
  4. Self-Management
    • ​​​​​​​Emotional Intelligence
    • Self-awareness & Growth Mindset
    • Time and Stress Management
  5. Interpersonal Skills
    • ​​​​​​​Teamwork and Networking
    • Conflict Management
    • Gaining Acceptance and Negotiating
  6. Problem Solving & Innovation
    • ​​​​​​​Critical  Thinking
    • Decision-making
    • Creative Thinking
  7. Professionalism
    • ​​​​​​​Adaptivity
    • Quality and Result Orientation
    • Workplace Awareness
  8. Customer Centricity
    • ​​​​​​​Customer-focused Mindset
    • Customer Lifecycle
    • Customer Relationship Management
  9. Work Productivity Tools
    • ​​​​​​​Computer Fundamentals
    • Microsoft Suite Essentials
    • Effective Information Search Online
  10. Online Communication & Data Security
    • ​​​​​​​Online Meetings & Communication
    • Internet Safety
    • Organizational Data Security
  11. Safety Practices
    • ​​​​​​​Basic First-Aid
    • Safety Awareness
    • Maintaining Health and Environment
  12. Financial Literacy
    • ​​​​​​​Banking Basics
    • Money Management
    • Financial Concepts
  13. Introduction to Entrepreneurship
    • ​​​​​​​Types of Enterprises
    • Business Planning and Marketing
    • Business Accounting
  14. Start-up Mindset
    • ​​​​​​​Who is an Entrepreneur?
    • Establish Startup Mission and Vision
    • Leadership and Ownership
  15. Obtain an Appropriate Job
    • ​​​​​​​Job Search Skills
    • Developing your Resume
    • Excelling through Interviews

These 15 competencies reflect a well-rounded skill set that equips an individual with the tools they need for personal growth and career advancement. At Wadhwani Foundation, we used the insights to develop a comprehensive employability skill curriculum touching each of the 15 competencies. By investing in these skills, individuals can navigate the complexities of the modern job market with confidence.

Our courses on skill development have found high value amongst learners, educational partners, and employers alike. These learners themselves play a pivotal role in shaping the competencies further. Here’s what they say:

  • Six out of every ten Wadhwani course-takers recognize the integral role of employability skills in their hiring and career growth. Their awareness of these skills’ importance highlights their commitment to personal and professional development.
  • All educational partners, whether within the network or external, unanimously agreed on the importance and integral role of employability skills in the hiring and growth of course-takers. This consensus underlines the widespread recognition of these competencies’ value.
  • The ultimate test of employability skills lies in the workplace. Our employer partners have reported overwhelmingly positive outcomes. Every partner collaborating with the Wadhwani Foundation has found significant improvements following their employees’ completion of employability skills courses. This direct feedback demonstrates the direct and immediate impact these skills have on professional success.

In conclusion, as the gateway to a prosperous and fulfilling career, employability skills are not merely a choice but a necessity in today’s ever-changing job landscape. Embrace them, nurture them, and let them be your guiding light on the path to unlocking success and securing a bright future in the world of work.

*References: Research by Stanford Research Center and Harvard University, 2015; 2. For the period 1980-2012, research by David Deming, Professor, Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School;
3. LinkedIn 2019 Global Talent Trends Report; 4. Research by global organizational consulting firm Kornferry, 2019; 5. Class of 2030, Microsoft-McKinsey Report, 2019

Wadhwani Foundation

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