We interviewed five incumbents.  These people come from different fields of work with different work experiences and ideas.

We interviewed five incumbents.  These people come from different fields of work with different work experiences and ideas. We analysed the characteristics of each interviewee and their answers to potential questions. We see it as the impact and development of skills at work. Interviewees between the ages of 21 to 35, both male and female genders. The characteristics of each respondent are described in detail in Table 1.1 below.

Table 1.1 Patricia’s Interviewee Harry’s Interviewee Vanessa’s Interviewee Wade’s Interviewer Khalid’s Interviewee
Interviewees’ Name Yu Hu Chen Xiaoli Diana Bruce Lourdes De La Arena Mena Anaya
Age and Gender 35 Years Old, Female 27 Years Old, Female 28 Years Old, Female 21 Years Old, Male 27 Years Old, Female
Occupation Accountant Accountant Seller Server Accounts Payable Specialist
Type of Company Medical Private Business Banking Institution in China Fashion Retail Company Now Work in Crown Casino Faurecia – Automotive Enterprise
Education Level

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Skills & Qualifications

High School

 

Managing Corporate Finance

 

Communication Skills

 

Accounting Certificate

 

Accounting Degree

 

Marketing Skills

 

Planning Skills

 

Market Research Skills

 

Keen Market Insight

 

Communication Skills

High School

 

Sales Skills

 

Communication Skills

High School

 

Cook Skills

 

Sale Skills

Finances Degree

 

 

Nationality Chinese Chinese Korean Chinese Mexican

Findings

We have interviewed five family members or friends regarding their opinions of skills impact on their occupation. Since the occupations and working experiences are varied, they have different attitudes towards the research questions as follows.

  • Question One: In a technologically advanced environment, people are concerned about automation replacing their jobs. At the same time, the demand for skill person in enterprises are increasing.  Do you think automation will affect your job?  What kind of skills are enabled to further develop in the enterprise?

Yu Hu’s opinion: From her words, the automation would not affect her current occupation significantly although some techniques and application will assist her calculating some difficult equations. However, automation could not take the role of dealing with the relationship between the industry and employers.

Chen Xiaoli’s opinion: As an accountant working in banking industry, Ms. Chen think the application of automation has been affecting her job in many perspectives. In fact, she has obtained more benefits from the automation, which outweighs the risks. Meanwhile, she has indicated that human beings still take the lead regarding communication process and handling unexpected problems.

Diana’s opinion: On one hand, Diana has committed that automation has brought huge changes to her jobs. In order to get familiar with the new operation systems, she needs more time to study extra computer skills. On the other hand, employees still play an important part in the organization because most of the daily tasks and communications are handling by human.

Bruce’s opinion: Bruce has some different opinions on automation. He thinks automation will definitely take place of basic workers. With the assistance of technology and automated robots, company will no longer hire basic workers. As the result, Bruce may worry that his job will be replaced.

Anaya’s opinion: On Anaya’s perspectives, automation could take her place while doing some basic and duplicated tasks. Therefore, she could concentrate more on developing extra soft skills such as leadership and entrepreneurship.

  • Question Two: Most of employers are looking for core skills person. How are technical skills impacting your jobWhat is specific skill required in your position

Yu Hu’s opinion: Yu Hu has admired that some technical skills are important for her daily tasks. Due to the nature and responsibility of her position, she needs to identify and verify huge amount of transactions per day. With the assistance of programs and software, Yu Hu has more confidence on catching up with the current new challenges and business trend.

Chen Xiaoli’s opinion: Chen has admired that technology has been resolving the difficulties and saving much time. For instance, the application of social network has extended the connection with clients and workmates.

Diana’s opinion: The most significant technical skills should be computer skills and administration skills. For example, Diana must know how to write a report through email and write it with a proper format in computer. The specific skills required in my position is kills to operate the relevant computer software, and knowledge in company enterprise system.

Bruce’s opinion: Contrarily, Bruce possesses different opinions regarding the significance of technological skills. He prefers studying soft skills rather than learning too much technical skills. In fact, Bruce needs more soft skills during his work compared to technical skills.

Anaya’s opinion: Anaya thinks highly of technical skills especially when dealing with complex and duplicated tasks. In Anaya’s position, the most relevant skills should be making good use of enterprise resource program.

  • Question Three: Do you think it is important to acquire transfer skills? Do you have the opportunity to use this skill in your work?

Yu Hu’s opinion: On Yu Hu’s opinion, it is important to master transfer skills when facing challenges and competition. In a highly competitive environment, employees could response to the problems more effectively. The more transfer skills you have, the more diversity employees will have at work.

Chen Xiaoli’s opinion: Chen has emphasized that under such competitive circumstance, people may need to switch different roles and become multi-tasking than before. Moreover, as different clients have different needs, it is better for employees to transfer themselves into different roles when handling different clients. Only through this way could the business attract and fulfil more clients’ needs.

Diana’s opinion: Diana has indicated that mastering more transfer skills could provide more future opportunity to make use of skills. More importantly, transfer skills could help employees catch up with the latest fashion trend, which is an important sense for sellers.

Bruce’s opinion: On one perspectives, Bruce has admitted that mastering transfer skills has many benefits such as broadening the horizons and improving the personal competitiveness. However, as a basic worker, there is not enough time for him to study too many transfer skills.

Anaya’s opinion: Anaya has a strong willingness of being a good future leader. As the result, in order to become a leader and to develop further in any position, it is completely necessary to acquire this type of skills. In addition, transfer skills is a basic technique to enhance the teamwork cooperation.

  • Question Four: Why are non-technical skills (generic skills) important to everyone at work?

Besides transfer skills and technical skills, it is discovered that non-technical skills seem to be emphasized several times by our interviewees. The forth question aims to explore the significance of generic skills.

Yu Hu’s opinion: Many companies require employees to have generic skills, because today’s work requires flexibility and the ability to perform many different tasks. In order to improve efficiency, companies will require employees to solve problems, respond to processes, and make decisions. Eventually, employees with these specific skills have great advantages in the labour market.

Chen Xiaoli’s opinion: Generic skills not only important in work but also in life.  Employees could not prevent themselves from communicating with colleagues, clients and their managers. Thus, good understanding and communication skills are essential. If an employee fail to acquire adequate generic skills and communication skills, he/she may fail to cooperate well in the organization.

Diana’s opinion: Diana also agreed that mastering generic skills is important for employees. Typically, listening, understanding and speaking clearly are important for those workers in selling position.

Bruce’s opinion: In service industry, soft skills seem to be more significant than other technical skills. Therefore, employees will spend more times on cultivating their soft skills rather than studying too many technical skills.

Anaya’s opinion: Currently, enterprises are not only looking for people who knows how to do things, but also looking for a person who can transfer these technical skills to others. Therefore, soft skills has become more and more significant.

  • Question Five: If you are a manager, would you recruit employees with personal attributes (soft skills)? Which personality do you most want to recruit?

Yu Hu’s opinion: Whether the manager will hire the employees not only depends on his/her soft skills, but also technical skills. Employees with the right personality will have an easier time integrating into the office and working with their colleagues.

Chen Xiaoli’s opinion: It is widely acceptable that people with more professional skills and communication skills would be the best talents for future organization.

Diana’s opinion: Personal attributes are important in working. Especially for a teamwork, soft skills like communication skills, attributes like outgoing personality and good manners will be ideal skills.

Bruce’s opinion: Bruce has agreed and emphasized that communication skills will be the initial personality which employers will be looking for.

Anaya’s opinion: Anaya will first look for multi-tasking person with different types of generic skills.

Discussion and Analysis

According to the interview mentioned above, it is generally demonstrated that different interviewees have different opinions on the skills impact. Such conflicts are mainly due to the difference of culture, education level and most importantly, the nature of position.

In this case, we have interviewed five incumbents, three people have possessed high school educational level and the other two have the bachelor degree. All of them has agreed that both technical skills and soft skills are of great significance to their career and have changed the industry dramatically. Interestingly, all of them have willingness to improve their soft skills in order to tackle the future challenges. Accordingly, the extent of educational level does not seem to be the main factor to alter the attitude towards skills impact. Nevertheless, soft skills have become more and more significant to employees and business.

Secondly, our interviewees have different attitudes towards technical skills since they have different job position. In most cases, our interviewees have emphasized and agreed with the opinion that technology has become widely used and has affected their job. With the replacement of technological application and automated robot, some duplicated and complex jobs have been handed out. (Crosbie, 2005) Interestingly, interviewees who possess a basic job position (sellers and server) have outweigh the generic skills. Due to the position nature, they have more chances to get in touch with customers and communicate with them. Therefore, it is better for those people with basic job responsibility to know more about soft skills rather than precise technical skills. (Litecky, Arnett and Prabhakar, 2004) As the result, it is concluded that the difference of job position has affected the attitude towards career development.

Last but not lease, we required each candidate to present the ideal skills they would like to have or the preferred skills which manager might think highly of. All the interviewees have listed a few specific technical skills, which match their position. Most importantly, more and more candidates tend to emphasize the concentration on developing soft skills such as communication and multi-tasking. (Mitchell, Skinner and White, 2010) Those soft skills could not be replaced by the implementation of automation and technological system. As the result, it is required that employees and basic workers not only possess their specific technical skills within their job responsibility, but learn more about the useful transfer skills and generic skills.

Reference Lists:

Crosbie, R. (2005). Learning the soft skills of leadership. Industrial & Commercial Training, 37(1), 45-51.

Litecky, C. R. , Arnett, K. P. , & Prabhakar, B. . (2004). The paradox of soft skills versus technical skills in is hiring. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 45(1), 69-76.

Mitchell, G. W. , Skinner, L. B. , & White, B. J. . (2010). Essential soft skills for success in the twenty-first century workforce as perceived by business educators. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal.

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