As an employer, you are constantly on the look-out for high potential, multi-skilled talent in order to do more with less in today’s tight labour market.

While some integral skills are industry and job specific, a survey by STJobs found the most in-demand employee attributes are those which “unanimously straddle across varied positions, regardless of entry levels and/or industries”.

Check out the five skills bosses desired the most in 2014, according to employers who have posted at least one job via STJobs’ portal this year:

1. Communication and interpersonal skills No. of mentions in job postings: 24,328

It’s no surprise that excellent communication and interpersonal communication skills are the most in-demand attributes by bosses this year, considering how vital they are to workplace success.

“Being able to communicate concisely and with clarity – whether in writing or verbally - in a confident and effective manner is a key skill and requirement,” the survey stated.

“Good communication skills help to reduce barriers due to language and cultural differences, and avoid miscommunication as result. Interpersonal skills enable people to successfully interact within the constantly changing and challenging landscape of the workplace, in which they are the key component of conflict management and resolution within the organisation.”

2. Microsoft Office and office administration No. of mentions in job postings: 11,531

With most business processes, documentation and communication becoming increasingly complicated, having such skills is key for job seekers to be able to do their work effectively.

“Microsoft Office remains as one of the world’s most popular work programme to be used in offices globally.”

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3. Customer service No. of mentions in job postings: 5,572

Having good customer service skills is vital in order to acquire loyal customers and develop referrals for future customers in a healthy business organisation. Such skills also increase the chances for a positive first impression.

“The most important customer service skill is the ability to deal with people, whether it is face-to-face, on the telephone or through written correspondence. Listening skills are also deemed as important for a good customer service experience. Customers are the lifeblood of any organisation so many companies will go the distance to make sure they engage competent customer service staff that can maintain good relations with clients.”

4. Sales No. of mentions in job postings: 2,899

Having a good service or product to sell is key for any business to flourish, but the chances of doing so reduce significantly if it doesn’t acquire employees with the ability to sell them.

“A good sales person is aware of the wants, needs and expectations of the prospective customer and able to ask and questions plus build a sound relationship with him. Companies are primarily concerned with bottom lines and P&L, so it’s of no surprise that they are always in need of revenue generators at the frontline in order to thrive,” the survey stated.

5. Accounting No. of mentions in job postings: 1,136

Acquiring staff who can provide businesses with accurate and timely balance sheets is integral for any organisation wishing to analyse its economic performance.

“A healthy financial statement may even attract parties to invest in a business. So it’s no wonder that this skill is a highly sought after one in most firms.”

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