18 November 2014

The 10 Unique Soft Skills Employers Desire in New Hires

In a survey this spring 77 percent of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder said they were seeking candidates with soft skills -- and 16 percent of the respondents considered such qualities more crucial than hard skills. Soft skills relate to the way employees relate to and interact with other people. The Multi-Generational Job Search Study 2014 by Millennial Branding said employers ranked the following as the most highly desired qualities in candidates: communication skills, a positive attitude and the ability to work in a team, all of which can be labeled soft skills or emotional intelligence.

Hard skills, on the other hand, are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify, such as a proficiency in a foreign language or computer programming. While hard skills might be developed on the job, employees should come to an organization already in possession of soft skills. When employees lack these basic soft skills, it can hurt the overall success of the organization.

The soft skills that employers are seeking, according to CareerBuilder, Millennial Branding and others, include the following:

1. Being dependable: Employers value workers they can rely on to get the job done. There’s nothing better than an employee who is available at the drop of a dime, arrives to work on time and delivers quality results.
During the interview process, hiring managers should ask candidates about their work ethic. Dependable employee are individuals who meet deadlines, are team players and stay focused at work.

2. Pulling together a presentation: Regardless of their position, most employees are expected to make presentations to management, co-workers, customers and clients in some fashion.
For example, an in-house graphic designer might receive an email from the head of the marketing department about a new client. Although this employee isn’t a communications professional, she might be asked to pull together branding ideas in a presentation for the client.

3. Solving problems:
Especially for fast-paced organizations, strong employees can think critically and effectively solve problems.
During the job interview, hiring managers should ask candidates about a time when they had to overcome a challenge in the workplace. This will help a hiring manager gauge the candidate’s ability to solve problems, be resourceful and face obstacles at work.

4. Coaching co-workers:
According to Millennial Branding report, 92 percent of employers value strong teamwork skills.
Strong employees are individuals willing to help co-workers and coach them along the way.
Let’s say a new employee has been hired and added to a group project. The new employee probably doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on yet. In this scenario, an employee who’s been on the team a while should take the new worker under his wing and coach the person through the new project.


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