Recruiters are increasingly looking for more personal and social skills such as leadership, creativity or the capacity to adapt

According to a study from the consultancy firm, iCIMS Hiring Insights, 94% of recruitment experts believe that employees with good ‘soft skills’ are more likely to be promoted to positions of responsibility than people with more experience but less empathy, creativity or ability to adapt. Another report prepared by the professional social network LinkedIn ensures that recruiters focus on candidates who best combine these soft skills with the so-called ‘hard skills’.

But, what are these ‘soft skills’? First, it should be clear that hard skills are understood to be the skills that people have basically obtained from their studies or professional experience. Soft skills, however, include personal and social skills that allow you to adapt to different situations whether at home or at work.

The nature of those basic soft skills that, in the opinion of companies, all employees should have today varies slightly depending on the studies or reports you read. According to the University of Kentucky, the five top-rated ‘soft skills’ are integrity, communication skills, responsibility, social skills and leadership. LinkedIn’s report adds creativity as a great skill on the rise, as well as adaptability and teamwork. In addition, we must also consider those included in ‘The Future of Jobs’ report by the World Economic Forum, which asserts that initiative, originality and critical thinking are the skills that will be increasingly required.

However, the ones that most experts agree are basic and very highly valued are:

– Teamwork: more than 30% of companies believe that their employees do not have this ability, which is often seen as a basic requirement. However, skills such as knowing how to listen or empathy are essential when several people are working together and they are particularly necessary to create strong relationships in the workplace that will also make working together easier.

– Communication: both oral and written. 46% of recruiters believe that candidates do not have good communication skills. However, it is vital to be able to make yourself understood and to express yourself. When writing, it is important not to fall into the temptations of social network and Whatsapp ‘spelling’ and, when speaking, you must learn to connect with the audience and be persuasive. Mastering both skills can even help to resolve conflicts and reach joint solutions.

– Critical thinking: also seen as adaptability or problem-solving. 60% of companies believe that their employees do not have this ‘soft skill’, however, it is one of the most important because it helps to prove you are capable of dealing with any unforeseen events that may arise in the workplace. Equally important is to know how to handle stress and anxiety, basic aspects when brusque changes occur or when the workload increases. Emotional intelligence is also a key aspect.

Leadership: almost 45% of entrepreneurs are looking for good team leaders and, indeed, this skill is one of the most sought after. Good leaders are essential for businesses as they encourage the commitment and productivity of the employees under them.

– Creativity: according to LinkedIn, this will be the most sought-after quality by recruiters in 2019. An idea that is supported by the forecasts of the World Economic Forum, which predicts that, in 2020, it will be the third most sought-after skill by companies. Given the automation or robotization expected in many processes in the not-too-distant future, creativity will be an essential and distinguishing element when the need arises to come up with new ideas.