Looking for a job? Here's the one trait that employers value most: your ability to listen. Effective communication and other soft skills consistently outrank hard skills as key skills hiring managers look for in a candidate. Yet, our schools are failing to prepare graduates with these leadership skills. Past and present college students were asked how they viewed the job market and their futures. ~65% believe that landing a job is more difficult for them than for the past generations. ~77% were uncertain if they had the skills needed for a job.
Recent surveys show that the one trait employers value most in a potential job candidate was neither the candidate’s competency nor level of experience. What was this all-important trait? An ability to listen.
Following that criterion, ability to effectively communicate ranked close behind. Approximately 70% of employers said they value these soft skills in potential employees over hard skills. In the same study, over 1,500 past and present college students were asked how they viewed the job market and their futures. ~65% believe that landing a job is more difficult for them than for the past generations. ~77% were uncertain if they had the skills needed for a job.
Effort, time, and money is spent on gaining the hard skills necessary for our dream jobs. Perhaps it’s time to shift the focus a bit. A study done in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly interviewed 57 business executives, asking for the top 10 soft skills they seek in employees. 100% of the executives said they value integrity and communication skills in an employee.
The combined, top-10 list of important soft skills according to the executives is as follows:
5. Interpersonal skills
7. Positive attitude
8. Teamwork skills
10. Work ethic
The researchers cite multiple studies validating the importance of soft skills to not just employers’ decisions, but employees’ success in their careers, relationships, and interactions.
Soft skills are universal and applicable to any job, from customer service to STEM careers.
There’s room to argue that hard skills are weak without soft skills—they need each other to reach full potential and strength.
So, how do we get there?
Soft skills probably aren’t something you learned in a classroom—so we created one: a complete self-and-other management app. The LIFE Intelligence app is a comprehensive course that makes up for the lack of soft skills taught in the classroom. Effective for CEOs yet affordable for any professional, LIFE's 5-minute-a-day lessons help you build mental resilience, develop self-awareness, set and meet goals, manage time and minimize regret, make calculated decisions, grow your social influence, build lasting relationships, communicate and resolve conflict, and finally, lead and mentor.
Download LIFE Intelligence free today to gain complete self-and-other management skills.