The 4 Most Important Soft Skills New Hires Need

The 4 Most Important Soft Skills New Hires Need

With the unemployment rate at a 50-year low, we strongly encourage hiring managers to be more open-minded when evaluating job candidates. In today’s workplace, there is no hard and fast rule about a job candidate needing to meet all of your desired qualification requirements as so many of the hard skills can now be learned on the job through education and training. Skills that are proving to be in high demand are of the soft skills variety (e.g., strong verbal and written communication, empathy, etc.), which are much harder to train. Even if a candidate is not as strong or experienced in certain skill areas you need for the role, they may bring soft skills that would be invaluable to your organization and align well with your team and customers and ultimately make a great hire.

1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Employees that can be open and understanding toward others will rise above the rest. They’re able to manage their own emotions without negatively impacting the rest of the team. With their finely attuned listening skills, they seek first to understand which is critical in today’s world where ideas need to come from all members of a diverse team. They will also be able to express empathy to customers and thrive in a team setting.

2. Excellent Communication

You don’t want to miss out on employees that exhibit strong writing skills and professional email etiquette. Verbal skills are also incredibly important! For example: Can they ask the right questions to assist customers on the phone? Are they seasoned at doing presentations in front of others? Do they sound robotic or conversational and pleasant when speaking? Employees are your brand ambassadors. They are the living embodiment of all that your brand stands for so investing in creating a strong Employer Brand Strategy will help not only with educating employees on how to message your brand, but to represent it exceptionally well.

3. Strong Decision-making Skills

Along with a high emotional IQ, leaders need to be able to use logic, data and experience to make the best decisions to keep the business moving forward. Being able to make a decision is the direct result of having strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. If an employee needs to constantly ask the supervisor for an opinion or ask a peer for guidance and advice, it can impact productivity and stall progress.

4. Adaptable

The workforce is changing and will continue to change. The job an employee was hired to do may look completely different one year later; whether it’s a process that improves, a new client to work with, a new office, new teammates, a merger or acquisition, it’s vitally important to be flexible, resilient, possess a growth mindset and treat any change as a learning opportunity.

At Alaant, we know how important building a strong team is to the success of your organization. We’d like to help make sure you’re not underestimating the important role soft skills play in helping you to do this. Contact us.


About the Authors

Angela Milkie-Stokes

Angela Milkie-Stokes, Resource Manager

Angela brings a mix of Human Resource knowledge and Student Affairs experience. She enjoys advocating for people with specific needs in the workplace. Angela can speak conversational Spanish and played the flute for more than 10 years! In her free time, she likes to read, be outdoors and spend time with friends.

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