The job market has seen a noticeable shift in the way companies and recruitment agencies select talents. Previously, hard or technical skills were the sure ticket for candidates to secure a position in their chosen industry. 

Nowadays, though, recruiters have focused on soft or social skills. These skills of the future highlight a candidate’s overall character and work ethic, which play essential roles in how well of a fit they are for a company’s culture and business goals.

According to reports, 67% of hiring managers select candidates with stronger soft skills despite a weakness in hard skills, making it crucial for HR professionals to identify the skills that will ensure the candidate’s success in the workplace, and by extension, the success of the company as a whole.

The infographic below discusses the top eight skills recruiters should look for: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, technical know-how, excellent communication, teamwork, leadership, negotiation and persuasion, and creativity.

Critical thinking and creativity are valuable in the workplace, regardless of rank or position, as problem-solving is an ever-present challenge. These skills demonstrate an individual’s ability to analyze a situation, identify the problem, then come up with a solution—sometimes one that is unorthodox or innovative—and implement it effectively.

Aside from being a problem-solver, an ideal candidate must demonstrate good communication skills and a knack for teamwork. These skills are vital for creating harmony within teams and units and are necessary for collaboration in the workplace. 

Candidates with these skills not only share their ideas effectively but also listen to multiple viewpoints and consider them. These also help gauge how a candidate will interact with their team members, delegate tasks, and take on responsibilities—all while striving to build positive working relationships with them.

Finally, negotiation and persuasion and leadership are necessary for any role, not just for executive or managerial positions. Leadership represents a candidate’s ability to take the initiative and manage tasks, no matter which role they may be in. 

Additionally, negotiation and persuasion represent a person’s ability to confidently and compellingly present ideas and expertly navigate possible disagreements to reach a compromise.

At their cores, these skills are important not just for the candidate’s ability to perform their designated roles, but also their capability to survive and thrive in the workplace.