47% say their companies do not offer enough training to hone their employees’ language and communication skills

A recent study by The Economist « Competing across borders: how cultural and communication barriers affect business » reveals the importance of languages for businesses. Two-thirds of respondents say that differences in language and culture make it difficult to gain a foothold in unfamiliar markets.
Some 47% say their companies do not offer enough training to hone their employees’ language and communication skills, and 40% believe there is not enough emphasis placed on recruiting or selecting people who are suited to cross-cultural environments. Misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration
Interestingly, linguistic diversity – or the lack of it – is considered by some margin to be a greater business challenge in Latin America and southern Europe than elsewhere. For example, 38% of those surveyed in Brazil and 40% in Spain believe the difficulty in communicating in non-native languages to be a significant hindrance to effective cross-border relations.

3 rules to recruit, develop and keep IT talents

According to John Reed (Robert Half Consulting), companies can only set up a well functioning recruiting and retention process if they obey the following rules:
1) Individual employee development
– It is important to know, which training the individual employee considers relevant for him-/herself.
– Regular conversations with the employees are necessary as wishes and requirements change.

2) Delegate responsibility and foster teamwork
– Employees aim at taking over responsibility. Managers therefore shall be willing to delegate tasks.
– Find a proper relation between individual and team projects.
3) Support IT experts in developing new capabilities
– Soft Skills are considered most important as they facilitate the cooperation with other colleagues.
– SMEs tend to neglect training measures in their daily business.They shall remember that employess want to train existing and develop new skills.

Skills shortage in the digital content and technology sector in Ireland

Dr Stephen Brennan, director of marketing and strategy at the Digital Hub, said at a skills seminar that jobseekers don’t demonstrate the soft skills needed in the digital content and technology sector.
Dr Brennan noted that “Everyone in the digital content and technology sector knows there’s a skills shortage in Ireland, with 2,500 unfilled jobs as a result. A major problem is we’re not producing enough graduates with the types of skills needed by enterprises in this sector,”. Regarding academic qualifications and technical expertise, he added that « The required skills-sets aren’t just based on academic qualifications and technical expertise. Employers are also looking for people who demonstrate creativity, flexibility, self-motivation and strong communications skills. The digital sector is generating new types of jobs in an emerging marketplace. And jobseekers must respond accordingly ».Brennan also mentioned a number of mistakes commonly made by jobseekers such as not including links to their online profiles on their CVs, not saying why they want to work for that business in particular, or not highlighting their relevant experience. « If you’re applying for a position in computer gaming, software development or animation, one of the first things the business-owner wants to see is samples of your existing work. So post a show-reel online and include a link to it in your CV » said Dr Brennan. (Source Siliconrepublic)

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“Soft skills” essential for employers but missing among young people

The results of the a survey entitled « Closing the Gap Between Business and Education” show that business leaders find young people to lack ‘soft skills’ such as confidence, teamwork, self-motivation, networking and presentation skills. 63 % of respondents said that their countries’ educational systems were not preparing young people with the right skills to enter the workforce and 70 % of respondents said their countries were doing a poor job developing financial and entrepreneurial skills among young people.

The survey was carried out by FreshMindsResearch for JA-YE Europe, which is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes bringing together businesses, schools and young people.

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Eurobarometer reveals that ‘soft’ skills are just as valued by employers as sector-specific and computer-related skills

A new Europe-wide survey among employers shows that, when it comes to graduate recruitment, Employers value teamwork, adaptability, communication and language skills as much as sector-specific and computer skills. In this survey over 7,000 European companies were asked which skills and capabilities they find important when recruiting higher education graduates, and significant numbers of employers questioned said that the ability to work well in a team (98%), to adapt to new situations (97%), communication skills (96%), and knowledge of foreign languages (67%) were important when recruiting for their companies. Almost 50% of companies with considerable international business identified knowledge of foreign languages as the most important skill for the future.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: « These results clearly show that employers value a wide mix of specific and broad-based skills. The Commission’s new initiatives, Youth on the Move and New Skills and Jobs, are focused on helping Europeans to identify and gain the qualifications and skills required in the job market. We are committed to supporting Member States’ efforts to improve higher and vocational education, as well as promoting opportunities for study and work abroad. This experience gives young people the very skills that employers appreciate most. »

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« Emotional ownership of work » motivates employees

A Hindustan Times article reports on a recent study carried out in India: « Attractive remuneration packages and perks are vital to retain employees but it may not necessarily motivate them to give their best to the company if there is no sense of « emotional ownership » towards the organisation, according to a new study. The factors contributing to « emotional ownership ofwork » and a sense of belonging  are « opportunities of self-expression, creativity in work, empowerment, freedom on job, opportunity to learn something new, variety in job and a sense of achievement », said the study on transforming the organisational culture, conducted by Manik Kher, a UGC research scientist at Pune University, advocating the concept of ‘Emotional Ownership’ to keep employees motivated ».