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Michael Page reveals ‘adaptability’ as the most desirable skill of 2019

However, research reveals only 15% of Brits list adaptability as a skill on their CV

Recruitment experts Michael Page have today named ‘adaptability’ as the most desirable skill of 2019, as employers seek candidates who can cope with increasingly diverse situations.

The announcement comes with the release of Michael Page’s 100 In-Demand Skills report, which was based on thousands of conversations with employers over decades in the industry. Outlining the best skills and attributes for securing employment, the list is a must for anyone attempting to sharpen their CV.

However, consumer research of over 2000 workers, carried out by Michael Page, found that less than half of Brits (44%) recognise adaptability as a skill they see in themselves, and even fewer (15%) admitted promoting this on their CV. This shows that in the job market today, this vital skill is both lacking and understated, presenting a promising strategy for those currently seeking employment.

Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at Michael Page, said: “We expect the January job market to be incredibly busy, fed by activity last quarter when one in 40 workers looked for a new job1. As January is one of the most competitive times for both clients and candidates, it becomes even more vital to stand out during this busy period. Job seekers would certainly benefit from communicating how adaptable they are during the application process, to promote the qualities that employers value most and better align with their needs. As adaptability is often a hidden skill, candidates should leave their comfort zones and try new things, to showcase the skill that will help them get ahead in their search for a new job.”

The survey also drilled deeper into the development and articulation of candidates’ skillsets, which revealed:

  • Almost everyone (96%) agreed employers require more skills now than ever before
  • However, only 9% strongly agree they know all their skills and only 6% know how many skills to highlight to an employer
  • One third (32%) of people don’t know what skills an employer is looking for, pressing the need for employers to articulate what they are looking for in a prospective candidate
  • Almost half (45%) believe their skillset has changed significantly in the last 10 years
  • However, only one in ten (10%) strongly agree to expect to learn new skills in the next 12 months

Kirk continued: “Our research shows something of a disconnect between employers’ expectations and candidates’ beliefs in their own skills. We know that employers are increasingly looking for specific skillsets in candidates. It’s why, at Michael Page, we are committed to helping our candidates hone and articulate their skillsets in a way that makes them stand out in a very congested market. The demand for more skills also demonstrates how adaptability will be an incredibly powerful skill for candidates to identify in 2019.”


1 – Office for National Statistics, 2018