Soft Skills to Look For to Help Strengthen Your Team

As a hiring manager, when you read through piles of resumes, you encounter a long list of skills promoted by applicants. However, many of these skills are generic or irrelevant to your company. Soft skills are particularly valuable because they are harder (and sometimes impossible) to teach, whereas “hard skills” can be taught much easier. If you really want to find that rock-star candidate, look for the following soft skills:

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage emotions in a way that adds benefit to a situation. The person who possesses this skill can enhance and improve an otherwise stressful and difficult situation. When we can control and understand our emotions, we understand ourselves better. We are more aware of our surroundings, our actions, and even our language. If a candidate possesses this skill, he or she is worth pursuing.

Critical Thinking

Managers and executives don’t have time to solve problems for their employees. They expect their workers to think for themselves and develop solutions on their own. Employees may occasionally need to discuss situations with managers, but they are more valuable when, overall, they can find solutions on their own. You may find a candidate with an amazing skill set, but if he or she requires constant babysitting, your time and productivity may be greatly disrupted.


One person’s attitude can make all the difference in the workplace. When you, as a manager, have a positive attitude, particularly during difficult tasks and scenarios, employees will be more willing to work with you and help you solve a problem. Additionally, attitudes are infectious. When one individual is happy and positive, other individuals will likely be, as well. No one wants to work with someone who has a poor attitude.


Verbal and written communication skills are imperative to individuals’ success in the business world. Only those who possess these skills can accurately relay information, explain details, motivate and encourage, and even reprimand and lead. Unfortunately, many individuals lack these skills. Approximately This percentage could be drastically reduced by hiring leaders with strong communication skills who can not only communicate well themselves, but can lead by example to foster better communication across your entire organization. To find candidates with good communication skills, carefully examine resumes for proper grammar and writing, along with concise wording.

Strong Team Member

A new hire joins a team with a specific objective in mind. He or she will work closely with other employees to achieve specific goals — some more difficult than others. However, incorporating a strong team member involves more than just hiring someone who gets along well with others. You need an employee who responds to and follows up on inquiries, meets deadlines, contributes ideas, and is encouraging. Anyone can claim to be a team player, but actions truly show who is or is not part of the team.

Evaluating Soft Skills

Administering personality assessments like Wonscore during the hiring process can help you evaluate which soft skills a candidate currently possesses. In addition, reference checks like Skill Survey can help you gain an understanding for soft skills a candidate was able to use at a former position. Also, paying attention to soft skills mentioned while holding conversations with applicants is helpful — you can even structure your interview questions to evaluate them.

You should look for a variety of soft skills in potential employees, but the five skills listed above can define a rock-star candidate and a must-hire for your team.

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.