“60% of employers complain that job applicants lack interpersonal and communication skills. Another 93% of employer’s care more about critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills than an undergraduate’s concentration.” – National Soft Skills Association
Communication, decision making, commitment, flexibility, energy management, leadership, problem solving, and ownership are a few of the key areas employers are interested in.
Employers are consistently looking for that human connection.
According to Indeed’s Director of Recruiting, Mike Steinerd, employers top seven most important soft skills to have for both interviewing and in the workplace are: (as found in Alison Doyle’s article in “The Balance”):
- Acting as a team player – this means not only being cooperative, but also displaying strong leadership skills when necessary.
- Flexibility – this is an extremely valuable asset to employees. Those who can adapt to any situation are dependable no matter what’s thrown at them.
- Effective communication– this is paramount to almost any job. Communication involves articulating oneself well, being a good listener and using appropriate body language.
- Problem-solving and resourcefulness – no matter what your profession, these skills are critical when unexpected issues inevitably arise.
- Accepting feedback – not only accepting feedback gracefully, but also applying that feedback, fosters professional growth.
- Confidence is key – that being said, it’s also important to always have the knowledge and skills to support self-assurance. By being confident and capable, your supervisors, employees, and clients will believe in what you are saying.
- Creative thinking– being able to come up with unique solutions or alternatives is invaluable; it drives innovation and increases efficiency.
Why are soft skills important to employers? Productivity, retention, and culture are the top three responses from employers. Poor communication or lack thereof effects the performance of the entire team.
A productive and healthy work environment depends on soft skills. After all, the workplace is an interpersonal space, where relationships must be built and fostered, perspectives must be exchanged, and occasionally conflicts must be resolved.