Wanted: Team Leaders with outstanding motivation skills.
No business acumen required.
Findcourses.co.uk has analysed around 3,800 jobs ads for Team Leader positions in the UK, with the goal of mapping out the key skills and competencies requested by those recruiting for this position. Though no one skill stands out as "the" competency that any Team Leader absolutely needs to have, motivation - the ability to motivate themselves and the members of their team - tops the list as the most sought-after skill. The ability to communicate effectively and to train & develop staff also rank among the most important, alongside personal qualities including flexibility, attention to detail and an innovative mindset.
Soft skills are the name of the game
A look at the top 20 list highlights the dominance of soft skills when it comes to competing for a Team Leader position. In fact, only 2 of the 20 most requested skills can be thought of as more technical - problem solving, which came in at number 18 (479 hits), and KPI or financial reporting at number 19 (344 hits). This means that they feature in approximately 12% and 9% of all job ads respectively - less than half as frequently as motivation and communication skills.
The trend continues with only 6.8% of ads requesting IT skills or computer literacy, and an even less significant 4.7% stipulating that candidates be skilled users of Microsoft Office.
People trump business
The results show that there is significant variation in terms of the skills requested, with different recruiters evidently focusing on different combinations of skills. At the same time, the ranking suggests that people-oriented skills - communication, interpersonal skills, people development - take precedence for employers with respect to an aptitude for business and strategy. In fact, possessing business acumen and strategic thinking skills appears to only interest a handful of employers.
It is also interesting to note that, while flexibility is regarded as a key attribute, change management and resilience skills fall much further down the list of must-have skills. This can perhaps be attributed to the fact that change management processes often tend to affect large parts (if not the entirety) of an organisation, and as such are more commonly dealt with by those in senior management positions. This does not explain, however, the equally low position of delegation skills, which occupy a rather negligible spot at number 51 on the list.
Skills & Qualities
|2.||communication skills||962||good communicator, communicates effectively, good communication|
|4.||attention to detail||913||accurate, detail oriented|
|5.||training and development||787||developing people, developing your team, development and training|
|7.||customer service skills||664||customer care, customer focus, customer centric|
|12.||innovative||566||innovation, creativity, creative|
|13.||problem solving||479||analytical, problem solver|
|14.||management experience||441||team leader experience, experienced manager, experienced team leader|
|16.||interpersonal skills||383||liaise effectively|
|19.||KPI||344||KPI reporting, financial performance|
This research was conducted during the week beginning 18th May 2015 using the totaljobs.com website. A sample of 40 job ads were analysed for keywords, after which those keywords were searched for among all job ads to determine frequency. Synonyms were used in cases where similar competencies were requested using several different terms.
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