What soft skills do modern employers value?

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In addition to professional qualifications, each candidate is characterized by a specific set of competencies that determine the way he/she works, namely soft skills. What qualities are important for employers?

Softskills, or soft competencies, are a set of qualities and skills that relate directly to a person’s personality and behavior. For example, effective communication and time management skills, leadership qualities or quick problem solving. LinkedIn Learning conducted a study that gathered current data from more than 660 million professionals and 20 million employers to identify the most sought-after soft skills in the job market.

Why are soft skills important to employers?

Soft skills, or interpersonal and personal skills, determine how we approach tasks, handle stress, or integrate with others. Every job requires interaction with people – be it co-workers or customers. Therefore, employers always pay attention to the level of development of those skills that contribute to effective communication, cooperation and conflict management.

Soft skills help to better cope with a stressful work environment and wisely manage a team to achieve the desired result, which is especially important in managerial positions.

Such competencies help an individual adapt painlessly to changing circumstances. In times of uncertainty, it is extremely important to be able to react quickly and make decisions effectively. Individuals with such skills have an undeniable advantage over the rest of the job candidates.

The soft skills that companies look for most

While task-oriented skills remain critical to a company’s success, data from recent market research shows that employers are primarily looking for talent that is inherent in interpersonal and people-oriented skills. Topping the list of most desired skills are creative thinking, teamwork, adaptability, persuasion and emotional intelligence.

Creative Thinking. Organizations need people who have a creative approach to solving problems and tasks in everything from software development to human resource management. Employees with creative thinking are highly valued. It is important that a professional can not only come up with a solution, but also implement it. In this case, out-of-the-box ideas should be focused on specific business goals.

Regardless of life circumstances, we can develop creative thinking at any age. It is the same skill as communication skills, for example. There are many different ways to develop creative thinking, such as:

  • doing standard things in new ways;
  • trying new things;
  • participating in brainstorming sessions;
  • considering several aspects of a problem, project, idea.

Ability to work in a team. This consists of a number of competencies that affect our effectiveness in a team – communicativeness, openness, work organization, team integration. It is important for the efficiency of any group that all its members are able to work together. Team skills can help develop sports or activities that require group participation.

Power of Persuasion. This is the ability to present one’s position or idea and convince others of it through the power of argument, but also one’s personality. Persuasion is done by word, example, and action. In all cases, the word predominates. The ability to persuade people with words is a requirement of the times. The power of persuasion lies in the choice of arguments and proper presentation. Logical thinking and eloquence are qualities that promote this.

Adaptability. The only constant in both life and business is change. An employee must demonstrate a positive attitude towards them and an impartial professionalism, especially in stressful situations. If we want to develop this skill, we can, for example:

  • reorganize the workplace;
  • change one of your habits or learn a new one;
  • analyze problems and create possible scenarios to solve them;
  • perform tasks with time constraints.

Emotional intelligence. This is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. To develop emotional intelligence, you must work on empathy. Learn to listen, observe yourself and others – behaviors, reactions, emotions – find connections between them. For better analysis you can also keep a journal of emotions.

Soft skills continue to grow in importance and have an increasing influence on employers’ decisions when selecting new employees. They are particularly valuable as they show the level of competence and communication skills of a candidate and, consequently, determine his/her value for the team and the company. So it is worth taking the time to develop them and mention them in your CV.

Main photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/unsplash.com

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