When it comes to gauging the aptitude of a prospective employee who is considered for an opening, employers value soft skills such as attitude and work ethic. In a related survey, 77 percent of respondents indicated that soft skills are as important as hard skills skills. In fact, 16 percent said that soft skills are more important than other types of skill sets.
While a company definitely judges a candidate on their technical skills, they also look for proficiency in job-related skills as well as personality. These job-related skills are what are referred to as “soft skills” -- that is, skills that give employers an idea of an employee’s ability to quickly adapt to problematic scenarios. Employers want to be comfortable with a candidate’s ability to follow through, his reliability, and his leadership potential to motivate others.
Many times, questions to find these types of skills tend to pop up on a digital interview or the face-to-face with the HR manager. What are the top 10 skills employers are looking for? According to a 2014 Careerbuilder survey, employers look for the following:
Work ethic – 73 percent
Dependability – 73 percent
Positivity – 72 percent
Self-motivated – 66 percent
Team-oriented – 60 percent
Multi-tasking – 57 percent
Performs under pressure- 57 percent
Effective communicator – 56 percent
Flexibility – 51 percent
Confidence – 46 percent
Employers no longer rely solely on a candidate expressing that they are capable of working well in a team. Candidates should be prepared to explain a scenario where they had to work toward a goal in a team setting.
Coming up with answers to open-ended questions looking for these types of skills will better prepare candidates for them when they come up. It will also demonstrate to potential employers just how “firm” your soft skills are.