Many positions demand specialized skills or training, but new research is looking at the increasing importance of “soft skills” in the modern job market. A recent study by Millennial Branding, using Experience, Inc.’s data pool, explored the current needs of employers and the trends affecting hiring decisions.
Although 100 percent of the employers surveyed said that they believed college prepares students for the workplace, they also stressed the importance of soft skills. Communication skills, positive attitudes and teamwork skills were identified as being important or very important by 98 percent, 97 percent and 92 percent of respondents, respectively.
“It’s clear based on the data that employers truly value the so-called soft skills, such as analytical thinking and communication ability,” explains Jennifer Floren, CEO of Experience, Inc. “I think this speaks to the fact that specific on-the-job skills change, and they change more quickly these days than ever before. As a result, employers are looking for raw material – talent that they can work with and develop, people who can adapt to changes over time.”
This is true across many industries. Even more technical jobs in finance demand on-your-feet thinking and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. And, while “hard skills” can be taught, soft skills are generally ingrained parts of people’s personalities, built up over the course of their life experiences. However, they don’t always necessarily fit on a resume the way specific work experience does.
This is what makes it so valuable to work with professional recruiters. The staff at these firms have a wealth of experience to draw upon when evaluating job applicants. They can put their full focus into finding candidates who are not only qualified in a technical sense, but are also well-rounded individuals with the interpersonal and critical thinking skills necessary to bring real value to a company.