Employees must possess soft and hard skills to be competitive in any industry. However, there is a noticeable spike in demand for soft skills in the job marketplace. More than having technical skills to fulfill a job, potential employees should demonstrate higher-level personal skills to win employers’ hearts.
A recent survey reveals that 89% of recruiters say that new hires who do not perform well likely lack the soft skills needed to handle their positions. This collective opinion alludes that soft skills do not only help people land jobs but also stay in them for a longer time. Thus, improving and learning new soft skills are indispensable for career development.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills, also called personal skills, refer to attributes that make employees successful at their jobs. Employees could use soft skills to prepare and execute tasks. They can even utilize said skills for the post-operation stages.
Besides doing well at one’s position, soft skills enable workers to coordinate well with others. Depending on usage, soft skills can even influence a work environment to become a more conducive place for all individuals involved.
If hard skills rely on technical capabilities, the essence of soft centers on practicality, emotional intelligence, and good behavior. While not as apparent as hard skills, it is undeniable that soft skills are crucial to have in any work environment.
Why is soft skills development valuable to employers?
Soft skills are by no means replacements for hard skills. But, it is undeniable how much positive change soft skills could create for employees and their work environments. Here are the top reasons why many employers find soft skills valuable:
- Soft skills help in creating a peaceful and efficient work environment.
- Soft skills foster cooperation between employees despite their drastic differences.
- Soft skills stay relevant for a long time, even without regular training.
- Soft skills apply to any position and industry.
- Soft skills are highly transferrable.
- Soft skills encourage employees to remain with their employers.
Top 10 soft skills employers look for in any profession
Soft skills do not identify with specific disciplines or industries. After all, they are attributable to all professionals, regardless of position and experience. For employers, there is always a handful of soft skills that make them interested and invested in employees.
Here are some soft skills that employers often look for in employees:
1. Communication skills
Employers consider communication as a top skill for hirees. For them, being a proficient communicator is more than expressing one’s thoughts and presenting them in an organized manner. Since communication is a two-way process, professionals should also have sharp listening skills to absorb input from others with maximum efficiency. Being a good listener can also mean that an employee will have no trouble understanding instructions and executing them.
Good communicators are also no-nonsense speakers. They say what they need to relay in the most understandable manner possible. Employers like this because leading a company is already troublesome. Therefore, they do not have the time and energy to decipher trivial matters.
Improving communication skills involves a lot of practice and patience. It consists of a lot of talking and listening. Professionals should be willing to experience different kinds of conversations to develop the confidence to speak and the endurance to listen.
2. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills refer to traits relevant to how individuals interact with others as individuals and members of a group. Unlike communication skills, interpersonal skills involve the usage of social cues and how the communication between two parties will impact their relationship.
Interpersonal skills are also called “employability skills.” Most employers find them valuable because employees often work with teams. As team members, employees must be willing to adjust to each other. If not, there could be a greater risk of internal conflicts and project delays.
The work needed for the improvement of interpersonal skills has two layers. First, employees should practice self-discipline. Employees should develop a level of restraint that prevents them from being enslaved by their emotions. Second, employees should learn how to get along with others. Employees need to experience more workplace interactions and learn how different individuals react. They should be ready for varied situations and remain calm throughout conflicts.
3. Leadership skills
Leadership is known chiefly as the ability to influence and guide others in fulfilling specific goals. However, authentic leadership goes beyond that. In addition, leadership is also about discovering the potential of subordinates and utilizing their abilities to fulfill target goals. Contrary to popular beliefs, it is not a privilege because it is a form of self-sacrifice by putting the growth of others ahead.
Employers value leadership because it is indispensable for company operations. 83% of industry leaders understand that leaders are necessary at every corporate level. Unfortunately, only a few companies maintain this standard. As a result, teams and departments struggle to unify and drive definitive results.
Leadership is an active skill. The best way to train it is by taking ownership of responsibilities over tasks and subordinates. One should become an individual capable of being relied on by others. Shadowing team leaders and offering self-thought solutions are great ways to start.
4. Collaboration or teamwork skills
Teamwork skill is a dynamic skill. Besides adjusting to the personalities of other professionals at work, teamwork requires people to reach out and support one another. Teamwork urges people to support one another and grow together for their common goals.
The value of teamwork is beyond what money can buy. It is a driving force that rallies different professionals together. Participating individuals will contribute their strengths and create a unified power to make drastic changes. For employers, teamwork is a cornerstone of success. When a group of professionals has it, they are more likely to be productive and engaged.
Teamwork skills develop when one becomes part of a team more often. After being part of a team, seek balance. Do not try to shoulder all responsibilities or take as few tasks as possible. Determine how to divide tasks equally and reasonably to maintain a healthy dynamic between everyone. Brainstorm and collect ideas from all participating members.
5. Problem-solving skills
The problem-solving skill looks into why a problem is happening and the applicable countermeasures that resolve such a predicament. At first glance, this skill is as simple as connecting the causes and effects. However, there are confusing workplace dynamics that may complicate work-related issues further.
Employers favor employees with high problem-solving skills because they keep the work environment more organized. Top caliber problem solvers can identify the existence of predicaments at the earliest levels. Resolving issues at the earliest stage is ideal because it would help prevent the worse case scenarios from happening.
One of the easiest ways to master problem-solving is by creating a thorough and practical way of thinking. One should be perceptive enough to eliminate unnecessary factors that may cloud a professional’s vision. After having a more logical perspective in solving problems, it should be easier to act rationally and timely. With practice, problem-solving would become second nature to any person.
6. Creativity skills
Creativity is not limited to arts and crafts. In work environments, creativity is about taking advantage of existing resources to produce better and “out-of-the-box” results. Sometimes, solutions to work-related problems are not too apparent. It takes a creative person to look at a situation differently and offer a fresh approach.
60% of CEOs find creativity among the most important employee qualities. Creative employees focus on a general vision without forgoing the necessary processes to meet predetermined goals. They offer a more three-dimensional insight regarding the status quo and the potential developments in the workspace.
Like most soft skills, you cannot develop creativity through training manuals. Growing as a creative requires exposure to many things. Have a curious mind. You can also try to observe others who do things unconventionally and find the aspects that pique your interest. Understand the essence of their work and approach the same task or problem while infusing your spin on it.
7. Time management skills
Time management is one of the most critical soft skills professionals can have. Its primary purpose is to organize tasks in an orderly manner to avoid missing other priorities that may come one’s way. Without proper time management, one’s workflow would be chaotic and full of errors.
Another important reason to practice time management is that it prevents a worker from being overstressed. Having too many things to do at once without knowing when they will end can be overwhelming. If workers continue feeling this way, they may become less effective and eventually experience burnout.
In connection with the previous paragraph, good time management helps maintain a work-life balance. Therefore, professionals should prioritize setting time for work and relaxation. After all, humans do not have infinite time and energy.
Mastering time management would make any worker efficient. They will know how to work and adjust if there are sudden changes. In addition, they will not be negatively affecting others because of delay or their inability to work.
8. Good work ethic
Good work ethic is one of the people skills that takes an employee far into any career path. Work ethic is not a singular skill but a set of standards that one imposes to deliver the highest quality of work possible. Having a good work ethic means a worker takes responsibility for their duties and responds to the needs of their employer.
Employees with good work ethics are easy to work with and put high-value effort into achieving exemplary results. In short, they are run-of-the-mill workers. Employers will always love employees who do more than is asked and deliver consistent results.
Good work ethic starts with little things, like being punctual. Always hold yourself to high standards and follow company rules. It shows that you have self-discipline and are capable of following instructions. From then on, having a good work ethic becomes a habit. Even without thinking, everything you do becomes a product of professionalism.
9. Adaptability skills
The workspace is constantly changing. Therefore, employees should be adaptable to some degree. Adaptability is a soft skill that allows workers to pick up new skills quickly and build strong connections with other parties. Adaptability signifies one’s potential for personal growth and career advancement.
Employees prefer having adaptable workers because they are teachable and more resistant to stress when there are sudden adjustments. In addition, they often possess a can-do attitude and are willing to take on new challenges to improve.
To be more adaptable, one should be more daring. Say yes to challenges and be excited to change for the better. Take calculated risks and push yourself to the limits. Learning new skills is also helpful because it gives you more abilities to adapt and deliver outstanding results.
10. Empathic skills
On the surface, emphatic skills are not work-related. However, upon diving deeper into what it can do to workers and the workspace, it is among the most underrated soft skills everybody should start mastering. Being empathic is understanding other people’s feelings and figuring out how you should handle them at a given moment.
Emphatic employees could not be the sharpest logicians, but they are indispensable. Employers often place these employees in leadership roles and customer service positions. Their proficiency in handling and connecting with people helps companies boost productivity and prevent internal conflicts.
Sharpening emphatic skills begin with training one’s emotional intelligence. Opening up to people and observing their reactions to specific triggers is crucial. It is also critical to be self-aware to identify personal biases. These factors could cloud your judgment and interactions with others.
Best soft skill training online
Soft skills training programs function to mold employees into flexible and efficient professionals. These programs do not assure job success but are capable of nudging hopefuls in the right direction. Do not entrust such a life-changing event to random institutions. When learning soft skills, know that Skill Success is a name you can trust.
Skill Success is an e-library of video-based courses on different subjects, especially for learning soft skills. We collaborate with experienced and top-performing professionals to create courses curated for beginners and veterans. Every soft skill course has lessons divided into chapters and subchapters, making learning feasible and not too overwhelming.
Time for soft skills upgrade
It is not enough that you learn them; you should also aspire to keep on improving soft skills. The demand for soft skills is not limited to learning more. More importantly, it is more concerned about who could add value to existing needs and help employers make more significant profits.