Top 5 Soft Skills Employers Need to Look for When Hiring


When your business begins to grow, you’ll need to hire more people. Naturally, you’ll hire for experience and skills. You’ll look for someone who has flawless grammar and outstanding composition skills when hiring a content writer. You want someone with excellent organizational capabilities when hunting for a virtual assistant. And so on.

But are skills and experience the only things that bear importance?

Recently, LinkedIn surveyed 5,000 recruitment professionals across 35 countries. Among the factors determined has to do with which skills candidates are lacking. You might be surprised that the gap isn’t in hard skills (technical knowledge and experience) but in soft skills.

The term soft skills is thrown around quite a lot, but what are they, really? Check out this video for a short and graphic explanation:


So you see, soft skills help us interact with our environment. Somehow, they make one more likable. They also help us deal with tasks and challenges in unconventional ways.

Now, what are the top soft skills you need to look for when hiring? Here are five:


paystaff_Top 5 Soft Skills Employers Need to Look for When Hiring_creativity

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LinkedIn defines creativity as the ability to resolve challenges in original ways. While creativity is a given requirement from artists, designers, writers, and marketing professionals, it should also be expected from other personnel.

In a world dominated by machines and automation, creativity remains unique to us people. The ability to think outside the box is bound to take one a long way.

When interviewing candidates, ask them how they will deal with a challenge common in the position they’re applying for. Then, ask them if their first answer is not feasible, what other solution can they think of. This way, you’ll have an idea of how creative they can get.


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This skill is needed from people in sales and marketing, but as this is the ability to change others point of view in your favor, it also comes in handy for other positions. Regardless of one’s role, a persuasive personality helps in motivating, inspiring, and engaging others.

If you’re hiring for positions that involve management or the possibility of eventually developing into it, then you should see how persuasive a candidate can be. You can ask a candidate how they will motivate teammates who are having a hard time dealing with their tasks.


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Put simply, this is one’s ability to smoothly coordinate and work with other people in the team or organization. Efficient collaboration lets teams finish tasks faster while maintaining a high quality of output.

More and more companies are now redesigning their offices to make them conducive for collaboration, saying goodbye to walled or boxed-in cubicles. But how about when you have remote staff?

It would be great if you can hire talents that already have experience working remotely, but everyone starts somewhere, right? If you’re looking to hire a freelancer who’s just starting out, you can gauge how well they can collaborate remotely by observing their virtual communication skills—do they send enthusiastic emails? Are they responsive enough?


paystaff_Top 5 Soft Skills Employers Need to Look for When Hiring_adaptability

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As the cliche goes, the only thing constant in this world is change. So, it’s important that everyone can adapt to changes well and quickly.

As you look at a candidate’s skills and experience directly related to the position they’re applying for, make sure you also ask about their other skills. If they exhibit versatility, it’s safe to assume they’re adaptable, too.



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Time Management

This is highly necessary, especially for work-from-home employees. Juggling multiple tasks is one thing—dealing with distractions and personal stuff is another.

It’s important to find out how good at time management a candidate is. Ask them what their typical day looks like. If it seems that they are able to balance work and life, then it’s possible they’re great at managing their own time.



Can you think of other soft skills that both managers and employees should have? Let’s hear about them! Drop a comment below!


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