New PeopleScout Study Reveals the Most Requested Skill for New College Grads

June 25, 2020

Are you a new college grad looking to get your foot in the door with a company in one of the toughest job markets in history? There is one skill that should be front and center on your resume, according to a new study by PeopleScout, the world’s largest Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider. According to PeopleScout’s analysis of data pulled from hundreds of thousands of U.S. job postings from March 2020 to May 2020, communication was the most requested skill for entry-level roles requiring a bachelor’s degree and one year of experience or less. Leadership and customer service skills also ranked high in demand.

“New college grads are facing one of the most competitive job markets of our time,” said Chip Holmes, PeopleScout Interim President. “Employers are looking for a balance of functional know-how and soft skills and are placing a strong emphasis on communication skills. Conveying that you are a solid communicator that is customer-focused and a problem solver with strong leadership potential can help to increase your chances of landing the job.”

PeopleScout conducted an analysis of data from labor market analytics firm Emsi, which included both permanent and temporary job openings. The study was designed to help workers who are new to the labor market identify in-demand skills they should emphasize while applying to and interviewing for jobs.

Among the most requested skill sets for entry-level roles requiring a four-year degree and up to one year of experience are:

Skill Number of Unique Job Postings Requiring the Skill from March 2020 to May 2020
Communication 341,840
Leadership 181,404
Customer Service 178,816
Sales 167,900
Problem-solving 142,247
Detail-oriented 131,486
Research 112,990
Presentation 106,869
Microsoft Office 102,973
Innovation 76,492
Organizational 70,395

About PeopleScout  
PeopleScout, a TrueBlue company, is the world’s largest RPO provider managing talent solutions that span the global economy, with end-to-end MSP and talent advisory capabilities supporting total workforce needs. PeopleScout boasts 97% client retention managing the most complex programs in the industry. The company’s thousands of forward-looking talent professionals provide clients with the edge in the people business by consistently delivering now while anticipating what’s next. Affinix, PeopleScout’s proprietary talent acquisition platform, empowers faster engagement with the best talent through an AI-driven, consumer-like candidate experience with one-point ATS and VMS integration and single sign-on. Leveraging the power of data gleaned from engaging millions of candidates and contingent associates every year, PeopleScout enhances talent intelligence for clients across more than 70 countries with headquarters in Chicago, Sydney and London and global delivery centers in Toronto, Montreal, Charlotte, Bristol, Krakow, Gurgaon and Bangalore. For more information, please visit  

Press Contact:  
Sarah Katz Candelario
Director of Marketing & Communications