Top Soft Skills to Look For When Hiring

In order to get a job it is necessary for candidates to possess a repertoire of professional skills.  Accountants need to be certified.  Secretaries need to be proficient at typing.  Dentists need to know how to fill cavities.   Beyond these technical skills, how do employers choose who they want to hire?  Are they more likely to select the candidate who has a great work ethic and communicates well or the candidate who is inflexible and difficult to talk to?  While employers might initially look for technical skills, it is actually the soft skills that make more of a difference. These soft skills are what separate employees from leaders.  Here are just a few of the most important soft skills to look for when hiring potential employees.

Good Communicators

Employers should never underestimate the importance of good communication.   Both written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace.  Employees who are good communicators are able to extract clear expectations from their manager in order to deliver their best work.  They also have the ability to communicate well with coworkers and clients, making them much more efficient and successful at their jobs.


A company’s success is rarely dependent upon one person doing everything all by himself/herself.  Success is the result of a group of people working together toward a common goal.  When an employee displays the ability to collaborate with others, it’s a win for everyone.

Team players also contribute to a happier work environment for everyone.


In the business world, things don’t always go as planned so employers want someone who won’t dig in their heels, but rather works to find an alternative solution.  Successful leaders are the ones who know how to be flexible in the face of a problem.  Similarly, employers need workers have the capacity to adapt the constantly changing facets of their industry.

Problem Solving

When problems arise, you can either complain or take action.  Employers definitely prefer the latter.  Knowing how to think quickly on your feet is a skill that employers are sure to find enticing.  In most companies, the problem solvers are the most successful because they are persistent and always looking for solutions.


Candidates who display leadership skills are more likely to get noticed.  Having a clear vision and demonstrating confidence will influence co-workers to do the same.  Employers are always looking for candidates with strong leadership skills because they will be the ones taking over the business one day.

The bottom line is this, you can find the most qualified person for the job but if they do not possess these soft skills, they are limited in what they will bring to your company.  These soft skills are oftentimes undervalued, but are critical to the long-term success of any company.