Problem-solving is most valuable skill for 2024, say UK CEOs

Problem-solving is most valuable skill for 2024, say UK CEOs
Social media marketing: roles proving particularly hard to fill
The Media Leader Jobs

Other soft skills sought by CEOs include analytical thinking and agility — all skills that media professionals are familiar with.

New research from business community Unreasonable Impact shows that UK bosses are preparing to enter the new year under the threat of a talent shortage — with 27% of them stating that recruitment is one of their biggest challenges.

In the survey, which saw 1,250 European CEOs share their struggles, results show that for UK CEOs, problem-solving is one of the main skills they desire with new hires — over technical ability and experience.

Other soft skills that CEOs are looking for is the ability to take charge in difficult situations and demonstrate leadership skills.

This rise in soft skills is not surprising and is echoed by research from the World Economic Forum showing that, between now and 2027, 44% of workers will see their core skills become disturbed, leaving soft skills more important than ever.

Other soft skills expected to become more important to hiring managers during 2024 include analytical thinking, motivation, agility, flexibility and social influence. In fact, these are all traits that media professionals — who base decisions on data, know how to inspire a team and strive for collaboration — are familiar with.

The Great Resignation, the phenomenon that saw over half a million UK workers leave the workforce and become economically inactive between 2020 and 2023, impacted elder millennials and Gen X the most, meaning years of experience and soft skills exited the chat.

Talent crisis

Greater work-life balance, juggling family responsibilities and the desire to try a new career entirely saw the amount of Gen X leaving the workforce increase by 30% over the past three years.

This has resulted in a talent gap for leadership and the experience that comes from years of working as a team, in addition to the understanding that collaboration rather than single mindedness is how innovation happens — especially in the media industry, which is experiencing a talent shortage.

Research has shown that almost half of advertisers, agencies, adtech companies and media owners believe the industry is facing its “worst crisis ever” when it comes to talent. A survey conducted by the World Federation of Advertisers and MediaSense found that up to 77% of respondents are experiencing staff shortages as they struggle to find the right candidates, with roles in social media marketing, data and analytics and ecommerce proving particularly hard to fill.

In practical terms, this means experienced professionals who demonstrate leadership ability and in-demand soft skills are well-placed to earn higher salaries.

Within the UK, 2023 saw an average salary increase of 5% in an effort to keep up with inflation — a trend that is expected to continue well into 2024.

Some of those working in media and creative roles saw their salaries increase even more. Senior leaders in marketing saw salaries increase by upwards of 15%, while copywriters’ salaries increased by 20% and salaries for content executives rose by 17%.

If you’re contemplating a job move, The Media Leader Job Board is full of roles with leading companies offering competitive salaries. Three leading companies currently recruiting are highlighted below.


The world’s leading streaming entertainment service blends storytelling and tech, and hires across a broad spectrum of disciplines. It has a big focus on inclusion and diversity, saying: “Better representation on screen starts with representation in the office.” Its job board namechecks a great workplace, exceptional colleagues and hard problems, so expect soft skills to be valued here. Currently, UK roles on offer include creative producer, production management, client services and post-production management. See more here.


After more than three decades, Adobe continues to pride itself on its people, investing in building an inclusive environment for employees, customers and partners, and consistently being ranked one of the best places to work. Adobe is currently recruiting for roles in Maidenhead (corporate sales manager) and London (product manager, enterprise sales managers), as well as several roles in its US and European offices. Explore jobs at Adobe.


ITV creates, owns and distributes high‑quality scripted and unscripted content for broadcasters and platform owners in the UK and internationally. Currently recruiting for a number of roles in both its London and Manchester offices, ITV is known for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, ensuring employees from all backgrounds and education levels are given opportunities for progression. Current opportunities include lead data engineer, sales and partnership manager and production specialist. Find more information here.

Visit The Media Leader Job Board to discover available opportunities

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