The top 5 soft skills employers are looking for in candidates today


The world of work as we know it is constantly evolving and skills that were in high demand about 10 years ago may not be so relevant anymore. The shift to a more technological and online-centric business world has rendered many hard skills obsolete today while simultaneously creating a high demand for more soft skills.

Today, more hiring managers are searching for candidates with soft skills who can easily fit into this new work model, as opposed to being more interested in hard skills. Yes, soft skills are that important in today's corporate world and they will remain this way for a long time. With that said, if you're job hunting or just looking to upgrade your skills and competencies to improve your resume, here are the top 5 soft skills that will give you a competitive edge in the job market.

  • Communication

Remote working is likely to continue even after the pandemic must have been sufficiently managed enough to allow people to return to offices. As remote working involves a lot of virtual communication, hiring managers will look for candidates with excellent communication skills.

People who can collaborate, manage teamwork and communicate virtually with ease will be highly sought after. It is important to note that communication in this context is not limited to verbal and written communication. Non-verbal cues matter a lot as well. According to experts, 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal, so you must be conscious of the energy you give off to others especially in virtual spaces where they may not be able to read your reactions in person.

  • Flexibility/adaptability

The pandemic redefined our idea of normal work culture and the truth is that things may never go back to how they use to be before the pandemic struck. Businesses were thrown into the deep end and obliged to transition to remote working and the employees on the other hand had to adapt to the reality of living and working through the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

It is expected that going forward, employers will be looking for candidates who are equipped to deal with swift and radical changes in the workplace. Flexible and adaptable candidates who are comfortable with change and can navigate changes in routine, workplace, workload or type of work will be most useful to employers.

  • Problem solving

According to a survey of 23,000 respondents, 45% of the participants believe that problem solving will be a top skill for employers in 2021. Problem-solving skills will always be a desirable soft skill to recruiters. Every open role exists because there is a problem that needs solving. Therefore, it is expected that any employee brought in to fill that role will help the organization solve those particular set of problems.

Employers will always go for candidates who can think outside the box and bring innovative and practical solutions to the business. As such, candidates that bring new perspectives, fresh eyes and great ideas to the table will always be welcomed.

  • Teamwork/collaboration

The fact that you may not be working in the same physical space as your colleagues does not mean you will be working alone as a remote worker. Collaboration may take a little more effort when you are not in the same workspace as the rest of the team but it is still essential. Effective collaboration requires understanding, patience and team spirit and if you're lacking in these qualities, hiring managers may be hesitant to bring you on board.

Employees and candidates who want to stand out from the rest will need to demonstrate the ability to combine efforts and resources with others and work effectively towards a common goal. Hiring managers would want to know that they will always be able to count on you to be a team player whether you are working alone at home or in the office with others around you.

  • Creativity

Employers will herald the need for creativity in their current and future employees going forward. The post-pandemic era will be a time for change and growth as many businesses will look to rebuild on what they lost during the pandemic.

Companies will need creative ideas to rebound from the setback of the past year, and finding employees who can harness their creativity to find solutions and new ideas that will move the company forward is how they will start. As a candidate, it is imperative to understand that not every new idea will work. Nonetheless, being able to make improvements to your ideas will show employers that you will keep their company moving forward. This will help you and your employers get off to a good start.


There you have it, the top 5 soft skills every employer in the market is looking for. Many of the key skills in our post-pandemic landscape will ultimately centre around your soft skills so you must hone these useful skills to enable you to stand out from the rest of the crowd. In a nutshell, the candidates that stand out will be the people who can tap into both the logical and creative sides of their brain to master the variety of skills listed above.


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