Soft Skills Employers Look for in New Hires

By Sarah Benz on February 11, 2016 Job Searchsoft skills

When looking for a new job, it’s easy to focus on the hard skill requirements for a given position and automatically rule yourself out if you don’t meet every qualification. Although particular hard skill sets might be non-negotiable for certain positions, soft skills are equally as important.


Soft skills are personality driven and based on your emotional intelligence. A person can learn Spanish if it is required for their job, but a person can’t learn how to interact with their coworkers or clients just because a job calls for it. Your hard skills might get you the job you’re qualified for but your soft skills will ultimately allow you to thrive, therefore, employers need people with a balance of both.

Hard skill requirements will vary depending on industry, position, and level of experience, but soft skills are universally sought after by employers in all industries.

Here are 8 soft skills that employers look for:
  1. Communication Skills: This applies to written, verbal and non-verbal communication. Employers need people who can express their thoughts, opinions and feelings clearly and efficiently, whether it’s communicating with coworkers on a daily basis or presenting in front of a client.
  2. Interpersonal Skills: This primarily relates to your people skills. Do you get along with your coworkers, bosses and clients? Can you work effectively with a team and fit in with the company culture?
  3. Time Management: Possessing the ability to effectively manage your time is crucial to your day to day functionality. Being able to plan and prioritize your tasks and assignments will help you succeed and show your employer that you are equipped to handle all of your work.
  4. Adaptability: Work environments, job duties and coworkers will change and so should you. Adapting to the changes and staying open-minded allow you to move forward with the company rather than staying stuck in the past.
  5. Problem Solving Capability: Problems will arise with any position. The key to your success will be how you overcome these challenges in a timely and efficient manner while still driving results and getting the job done.
  6. Work Ethic: Employers want to hire someone they know will show up, get their work done and go the extra mile when called upon. Being an employee that your bosses and coworkers can depend on will show your dedication to the organization and help you move up the ranks quickly.
  7. Leadership Potential: Companies invest in employees that they see potential in. Possessing the ability to voice your opinion, take initiative and lead others will make your bosses eager to invest their resources into your development for the future benefit of the company.
  8. Creativity: Creativity is what ignites a company and contributes to its innovation over time. Employers need to hire new people with fresh ideas in order for the company to continue growing. So if you are a creative person, find a way to express it.

It’s unlikely that you will possess every hard and soft skill required for every job you have throughout your career, but being able to find a balance between your strengths and weaknesses is the key to landing your dream job and ultimately succeeding in your field.

Messina Group is Chicago based staffing firm with experience placing hundreds of temporary and contract workers each year. If you’re looking to make a change in your career path, visit our job board to learn more about our open positions today!

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Sarah Benz

Sarah Benz

Sarah Benz is a director of recruiting for the Messina Group. With nearly a decade of experience in enterprise staffing, Sarah is dedicated to partnering with Messina’s clients to locate the ideal candidates for each company’s customized needs. Sarah has worked extensively with the engineering and scientific industries and intimately understands the technical and interpersonal skills those companies are looking for. Before beginning her recruiting career, Sarah served as the marketing coordinator for Messina. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering and playing and coaching sports.

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