SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS
10 Soft Skills Employers Look for in New Hires
Resumes don’t always tell the whole story about potential candidates, in terms of the kind of skills they bring to the table. Those skills identified on the resume are generally considered to be hard skills, i.e. those which have been acquired academically or on the job, and which pertain to the profession itself. However, the soft skills which a candidate brings to the job may be just as important, or perhaps even more important. Here are some of the most critical soft skills that new employees should have.
This can be an extremely valuable soft skill for an employee to have, particularly in an environment where there is not a formal supervisory framework in place. In such instances, it becomes critical that employees are powerfully motivated to achieve goals on their own, and to accomplish tasks that will result in objective achievement.
Employees who are easily deflected from their objectives by even small obstacles will always require more help and more encouragement in order for them to succeed. This however, can be a drain on management time, or it may require the assistance of peers to help get the job done. Those employees who are the most determined and most tenacious about accomplishing things, are the ones who are driven to succeed.
Most employers prefer to hire candidates who show lots of initiative, and require a minimum amount of urging to accomplish tasks. Employees who require guidance on seemingly every aspect of a given project, tend to act as a drag on the team, which can affect the overall performance of that team.
Flexibility or adaptability
The nature of some businesses calls for employees to be able to quickly change focus, and adapt to new circumstances which have come up. Since business itself is often confronted by the need to adapt quickly, it’s important for employees to have that same quality, in order to meet the changing demands of business.
Ability to prioritize
Particularly in a fast-paced business, it becomes very important to have tasks and objectives prioritized, so that the most important things get done first, and lesser tasks are handled afterward. When the most business-critical tasks are addressed with appropriate priority by an employee, it’s much easier for the business to stay on track.
Many people are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and tend to emphasize their strengths accordingly, while avoiding their weaknesses. Employees who are particularly well aware of their own natures can be much more effective than employees who mistakenly feel they’re good at everything, and address business tasks from that perspective.
This means not only that an employee is willing to communicate with others, but that he/she can be very effective when doing so. This is especially important in fields which are fairly technical, and where it is necessary to clearly convey complex ideas to others. Excellent communication on the job is essential not only between employees, but also between employees and customers.
Willingness to embrace new concepts
Given the extremely competitive nature of many businesses, it’s essential that employees are able to embrace new concepts and new technologies, in order to help advance the business. Employees who prefer to simply work from their comfort zone, are not as well adapted to the modern business world.
Good culture fit
A candidate might be extremely technically proficient, but his/her personality may simply not be a good fit for the company culture in question. It can be a tremendous benefit for a potential employee to have many of the same attitudes and perspectives that current employees already have, so that he/she will fit right in.
Many employers prefer to choose candidates who have a good attitude about the work to be done, rather than candidates who have all the experience and technical skills. People with positive outlooks and a strong motivation to succeed, can often make better employees than those who might be better qualified.
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