What Soft Skills Should You Look for in a Candidate?

What Soft Skills Should You Look for in a Candidate?

As you may or may not know, ‘soft skills’ are abilities like leadership and communication that allow us to more easily handle the more technical aspects of our job.

Soft skills are becoming more important as companies look to get more value from their workforce. Employees with good soft skills are more likely to be effective in a number of different roles. They can work together well with others to get results while avoiding conflict. They can also step up and be effective leaders when asked.

There are many different soft skills out there, but the ones listed below are what you should be looking for when screening candidates for open positions.

Work Ethic

Recruiting people that have a strong work ethic is crucial to the success of any company. A strong work ethic is difficult to teach, and if it doesn’t come naturally.

A strong desire to work harder can lead to a stronger work ethic but trying to help an employee develop this soft skill can be a fool’s errand.

Critical Thinking

You want employees with the capacity to think critically about all kinds of problems. Staff members that can create solutions based on observations, experience and information are worth their weight in gold. Critical thinkers understand how to use data to their advantage, but they are not beholden to it.

Ability (and Desire) to Learn

Staff members that are always curious and motivated to acquire more knowledge are more likely to be successful in modern workplaces, especially those driven by technology.

Software tools are always being updated. Technical devices are constantly becoming more complex. Those that aren’t able and willing to learn are constantly at risk of being left behind. When interviewing a candidate, try to identify those with a natural curiosity and motivation to learn more, as well as the ability to apply what they have learned.

Ability to See Different Perspectives

Take one look at the current state of political debate in this country, and you’ll realize that many people aren’t able to see outside their own point of view.

While your employees may not be having political debates as a part of their job duties, being able to see multiple points of view is extremely valuable when it comes to getting things done by building consensus.

Being able to see other points of view also helps an employee to understand the justifications for a business decision that she or he may not agree with.


Staff members who can come up with innovations and solutions out of the blue are the most valuable type of employees. These individuals are more likely to refine processes and solve nagging issues. Creative employees are more likely to identify an issue and bring it to your attention with a possible solution before the issue gets out of control.

We Can Help You Find the Candidates You’re Looking For

At NSC, we specialize in connecting our clients to candidates that meet the strict criteria laid out for us. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company find candidates with essential soft skills.


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