Being ranked No. 1 in your university class or training program is a great asset, but your skill set is not enough to secure your dream job. To succeed in today’s job market, employees need to bring more than technical skills to the table. Employers are looking for someone who can bring added value to their business. They want employees with soft skills, those human traits that machines cannot duplicate.
The recent pandemic highlighted the need for soft skills to deal with the fear and anxiety many felt. In this post-COVID-19 world, qualities like empathy and kindness make the workplace run more smoothly and profitably. You need to hire candidates who possess these skills in addition to technical ability. The following are five of the most in-demand soft skills that you should seek from today’s talent pool.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Effective employees possess emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence includes the ability to understand others’ unspoken feelings and care about what happens to them. This caring builds trust between employees, clients, and management, and can increase productivity at the workplace. Hiring people with high emotional intelligence leads to fewer staff conflicts and helps to attract and keep clients. A brilliant financial planner with no people skills will not be as successful as one who has slightly less financial savvy but more empathy. Remember, your clients want to feel heard and understood as you meet their needs.
The pandemic turned millions of people into remote workers, and many of these employees will continue to work from home at least part of the time. This shift in the workplace means that employers can’t monitor employees as closely as if they were in the office. As a result, they are looking more than ever for highly motivated, self-directed workers.
A self-directed employee can map out their own workday and produce the necessary results, whether they work for an insurance company or conduct online college courses. They do not depend on someone else to keep them productive. Employers need this type of employee even more than they did before the pandemic.
The future of work includes the need for creativity, something that cannot be automated. Creative employees may develop beautiful media designs or elegant ad campaigns, but other job types require this trait as well. All companies need creative people who have new ideas and can apply those ideas to current systems and problems. Companies must have innovation to prosper, and innovation comes from creative people in every industry, including manufacturing, customer service, education and financial services.
You should hire creative people to fill your new positions, but your current employees can learn to be more creative through collaborative projects, soliciting feedback, and writing down ideas. Do not assume that only new hires can bring new life to your business.
Companies need workers who can quickly adapt to new situations or problems. Life and work seldom go as planned, so you need employees who can handle disruptions and embrace new ideas and work processes. Employees who possess good job skills but who are not flexible will not be as productive over the long term as those who are willing to step out of their comfort zone.
During the pandemic, many businesses had to drastically change how they did business. Restaurants, grocery stores, and retail operations had to shift quickly into delivery mode to serve their clients. Customer relations became even more of an online enterprise since people stayed in their homes. Employees who were stuck in “how things used to be” were of little help. Adaptability is key, especially post COVID-19.
Integrity may sound like an old-fashioned value, but employers are emphasizing it once again. A highly competent employee who has no scruples can do incredible damage by misleading clients, lying to coworkers, or breaking promises to management. An employee’s quality of work means more than the ability to invest money or manage an office. Management and customers need to trust the people who work for them.
Integrity is important for all job functions, roles, and industries, and when prospective customers think it’s lacking, it can result in lost business. Salespeople, for example, can — often unfairly — be seen as willing to do anything for a sale, which can make it more difficult for customers to trust them. Your company needs to hire people who would rather lose a sale than mislead a customer about your products or services. In the long run, your business will benefit from honest and ethical employees.
How Dover Staffing Can Help
Dover staffing can help you find employees with the soft skills you need. At Dover, we understand that hiring skilled employees is not enough. In this post-COVID-19 world, you need skilled employees who also have empathy, character, adaptability, and self-discipline.
For help building a team with both hard and soft skills, contact Dover Staffing Solutions. We are a full-service staffing firm that understands the needs of today’s employers, including corporate, government, and nonprofit clients. Get more information by filling out our brief online form or calling 770-434-3040.