Soft Skills to Look for in Top Talent

There are many elements to consider when hiring a new employee. Having the right qualifications, skill set and background are important, but having certain soft skills that can’t always be tangibly measured is also crucial. In fact, a survey from CareerBuilder found that “77 percent of employers were seeking candidates with soft skills – and 16 percent considered such qualities more crucial than hard skills.” Below are some of the top soft skills to keep an eye out for.


Knowing that you can count on someone to show up on time, get the job done and meet deadlines is perhaps the most important soft skill of all. The last thing you want in a candidate is someone who is flaky and can’t be trusted on the most basic level. While this can’t necessarily be measured concretely, you can usually get a sense of a person’s dependability by asking the right questions such as:

  • How often do you arrive late to work each year?
  • How many deadlines have you missed in the past?
  • What’s your general work ethic like?


You never know what’s going to happen on any given workday and what obstacles your employees are going to encounter. Also, many industries are constantly in flux and implementing new types of technology, policies, etc. That’s why being flexible enough to quickly adapt to change is something you’ll want to look for in top talent. They should be able to improvise and roll with punches when needed to ensure that deadlines are met and not get overwhelmed when things get chaotic.

A Positive Attitude Toward Work

There’s no doubt that the workplace can be stressful and frustrating at times. And while everyone is going to have an occasional bad day, it’s ideal to find an employee who can maintain a positive outlook regardless of what happens. With 72 percent of companies saying that this is a soft skill they look for, it’s clear just how important positivity is. Often, these individuals can spread their good vibes to others, create a more stable work environment and improve your overall company culture.

Solid Communication Skills

Because most jobs require a considerable level of interaction, it’s also critical for top talent to be able to communicate effectively and possess the necessary interpersonal skills to thrive. Whether it’s with customers or co-workers, they need to be able to express themselves and exchange information in an efficient manner. This will come in handy when relating to customers and co-workers and can also minimize internal conflicts within the workplace.  

Soft skills are arguably just as important as hard skills, and according to some people, they’re even more important. The bottom line is that it’s necessary to pay attention to these types of skills when assessing top talent and deciding who to hire.

Reach out to the experienced recruiting team at Encadria Staffing Solutions for more staffing advice and assistance.

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