The Top 5 Most In-Demand Soft Skills

- Job & Career

Hands-on Management 3.0 leadership workshops focus on tangible practices to help managers, team leaders, middle management, and C-level executives increase employee engagement and foster transformational change within their organizations. Start Your Leadership Journey Today!

by Taylor Tomita

Looking for the right employee to join your team is an incredibly important part of any manager’s role. Getting that decision wrong can mean wasting time and money as well as potentially upsetting the balance of your team, which is why you need to look out for soft skills as well as the more obvious attributes that candidates are shouting about on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

Soft skills are those that enable an employee to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people, like emotional intelligence, teamwork, adaptability and good communication skills. Having people with these skills in your team will ensure that it runs smoothly, which is why you need to look out for them just as much as great sales or more easily definable performance metrics.

NetCredit has conducted a study of over 45,000 job listings to examine which soft skills were mentioned most frequently to see what hiring managers across America are looking for right now. Here are the top five.

#1: Collaboration

More than 1 in 5 job adverts studied wanted someone who is good at collaboration, and no surprise. While TV shows and films may be full of mavericks who don’t play by the rules to get things done, that kind of drama is better on the screen than in the real workplace. The study also looked at which soft skills were most valued by sector and collaboration was either top or near the top of almost all of the sectors, particularly those in business services (HR, admin, customer service), science & engineering and finance & insurance.

#2: Innovation

Just under 20% of all job adverts were asking for someone who could describe themselves as innovative and while it’s no surprise that it features particularly strongly in the science & engineering sector, it was also prominent in several other sectors. After all, innovation doesn’t have to mean coming up with a new invention or scientific discovery, it could just be a new way of doing things in your job, whatever that might be, and managers should always welcome employees who are ready to think outside of the box.

Do you know the Management 3.0 module on Creativity and Innovation?

#3: Confidence

While confidence can be a problem if there’s too much of it, managers should always welcome a new member of the team with belief in their own skills, as long as there is some humility there to balance it out. It was scored highly in the construction & manufacturing sector, but less strongly than you might have expected in marketing & advertising.

#4: Patience

Having an impatient employee is a recipe for a stressful working life for any manager, so it’s no shock to see it feature among the soft skills most in demand and the study found that it was most commonly found in adverts posted in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It also featured very regularly in descriptions for jobs in marketing & advertising, suggesting that it’s a sector where employees will need to be particularly patient, which is worth considering if you are hiring for a new member of your marketing team.

#5: Creativity

A soft skill that you might expect would be essential in a job like marketing or advertising, creativity surprisingly features much more strongly in sectors like business services. HR and admin employees may not be creating posters and running ad campaigns, but it would seem that coming up with creative ways to engage staff or work with customers is a highly-valued soft skill for that sector in particular.

Now that you’ve seen which soft skills are most highly-valued, why not think about which are most important for the next role you are recruiting for?

Photo credit kvalifik via Unsplash

Have you already read these?