Absolutely! I was recently quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Philly.com addressing this topic from an employer’s perspective re: job candidates. There is no doubt that communication skills are not only #1 in the job search process but also in career success in general – I’ve seen countless examples where superior communication (unfortunately with or without solid content backing it up) leads to success. You could have 2 PhD’s but if you cannot communicate effectively re: your ideas, you will likely end up in a dead end career.
The article discusses outsourcing in relation to multicultural awareness and communication skills. Re: this topic, my perspective is that the recession will have a reversing trend on outsourcing (which was one of the points in the article in Philly.com): Not everyone believes that companies’ global aspirations will spur demand for employees with multicultural skills. Some point to the growth in U.S. firms outsourcing business overseas. Others, including some prominent U.S. economists, see “reverse globalization” taking place. “In my experience, during times of economic turmoil and high unemployment, countries become more protectionist,” says business consultant Lisa Anderson, LMA Consulting Group, Claremont, Calif. “There has already been a reversal trend of globalization since the recession started.”
Even so, businesses will eventually consider returning part or all of their operations overseas, Anderson says, and it will be important to have employees in place “who understand the multicultural implications to ensure a comprehensive strategy and successful transition.”
In summary, communication is #1 – and multicultural awareness is one of the key components for overall success.