6 Important Soft Skills to Look for in a Candidate
In this article we detail the importance of soft skills in the workforce and which ones to look for in a candidate.
August 21st, 2023
At Katapult Network, we understand that people are more than just a resume and jobs are more than just a list of tasks. We're a recruiting company that takes a human-focused approach to the job search where we're able to match college graduates with entry-level, professional jobs. Whether you're a job-seeker looking to start your professional career or a hiring manger seeking to build your future leadership at the entry-level, we're excited to be your partner in navigating the search process.
When hiring there are many factors to take into consideration, but one of the most important aspects is a candidate's possession of soft skills. These skills not only offer insights into how well an individual can integrate into your company culture but they also clue you into their future success. While technical skills can be taught, soft skills are distinct. Here are six essential soft skills that elevate a candidate's suitability for a position:
Clearly, possessing effective communication skills is very important when entering the professional workforce. Being a great speaker aids in the ability to collaborate with colleagues, present ideas, and build relationships. The ability to speak clearly and thoughtfully is something a communicator can easily accomplish. Not only that, but they also have a strong command of non-verbal communication and are able to adjust in response to feedback.
Problem-solving is an essential skill that acts as a versatile toolkit for improvement, communication, and learning. It's like having a secret weapon that lets us tackle tough challenges, enhance how we work with others, and keep growing. A strong problem solver can dissect complex issues, come up with clever solutions, and bring fresh ideas to the table. Candidates with this skill have the ability to think critically in order to come up with solutions.
Adaptability is crucial in the workforce because it enables individuals and organizations to thrive in an ever-changing and dynamic environment. As industries, technologies, and business landscapes evolve at an increasingly rapid pace, those who can adapt effectively are better positioned to succeed. Look for a candidate who has a growth mindset, expresses their willingness to embrace change, and easily navigates uncertainty.
In almost all work environments there will be a need for collaboration and an exchange of ideas. A candidate who excels in this skillset will ensure your organization is achieving common goals and objectives. A person who is a teamplayer learns from others strengths and experiences, expanding upon their own skills and knowledge base. Organizational success can be reached when you have employees who constantly utilize their ability to team work.
Employing individuals that possess leadership skills can result in enhanced team development. Leaders excel at motivating and inspiring others, demonstrating visionary thinking, and frequently taking the initiative to accomplish tasks. These attributes represent only a fraction of the qualities effective leaders have. Leaders can also be exceptional communicators with an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, further contributing to their ability to guide teams toward success.
6. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, ultimately enhancing communication, strengthening relationships, and fostering effective collaboration in the workplace. It empowers individuals to manage emotions, navigate conflicts, and make well-informed decisions. This skill contributes to a positive work culture, boosts employee morale, and ultimately drives overall productivity and success.
In conclusion, when hiring, considering a candidate’s soft skills can give you insight into their potential success within your organization. While technical skills can be acquired over time, soft skills serve as a predictor of an individual's capacity to fit into company culture and contribute effectively. The six essential soft skills highlighted here – effective communication, problem-solving, adaptability, teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence – collectively shape a well-rounded and impactful candidate. These skills facilitate collaboration, innovation, and positive work dynamics, ultimately propelling both individual and organizational achievements in the professional landscape.