The Top 5 Employee Skills to Look for When Hiring

Corporations receive an average of hundreds of resumes per job post. But a whopping 59% of employers say they can’t find employees with the necessary skills for a job.

Technical qualifications are easy to sort on paper. But what other professional skills do employers need? Here are the top 5 employee skills for a first-rate workforce.

1. Communication

Communication skills are highly valued by hiring managers, according to LinkedIn research. This includes verbal and written skills along with active listening.

Effective communication is the ability to send and receive messages successfully. This doesn’t just stop at hiring. It’s also integral to workplace success.

Honing professional communication skills is often overlooked in fields like STEM. These fields tend to put much more emphasis on technical skills. Candidates with top-notch communication skills will stand out from the potential recruit crowd.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Most people are already familiar with the concept of an intelligence quotient (IQ). It measures your capacity for academic skills such as reasoning, spatial memory, reading and math levels, etc.

Employers already know to look for intelligence skills in academic and past job performance. Interpersonal skills that rely on emotional intelligence (EI) are also highly sought after next to communications skills.

An employee’s EI is just as important as their IQ. Your EI affects your:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy
  • Internal motivation
  • Leadership skills
  • Social skills

A lack of strong interpersonal skills can create negative ripple effects on an employee’s other key professional skills. It’s difficult to lead a team, for example, if a team leader lacks effective self-awareness, motivation, leadership, and communication skills.

3. Leadership Skills

Management and leadership skills aren’t limited to leadership positions. Companies look for leadership skills in any role, because they see many benefits from promoting employees within the company.

Leadership skills combine essential skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking. The best leaders are proficient in all the skills they expect of their team members.

4. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking refers to using logic and reasoning to solve problems or form conclusions. This is an important professional skill for workplaces that employers have a hard time filling.

Employees need critical thinking skills for a job to make informed decisions. They also rely on critical thinking to see the “big picture” of an organization and its goals.

A workforce without critical thinking skills needs to be micromanaged constantly. This negatively impacts productivity and employee/employer relationships.

5. Dedication

An employee can have all the technical qualifications and professional skills needed for a job, but these are functionally useless without dedication. Dedication applies to a wide range of professional skills, including:

  • Time management
  • Work ethic
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Goal-setting
  • Motivation
  • Desire to learn
  • Reliability
  • Self-direction

An employee that lacks dedication will not put their skills for a job to good use. Employers should be on the lookout for potential recruits that can demonstrate dedication. A recruitment agency can help sort the dedicated candidates from the shaky ones.

Find the Top 5 Employee Skills for Your Business

The top 5 employee skills aren’t always easy to find. Employers need more than just technical qualifications from their employees.

They are looking for employees capable of interpersonal and leadership skills. They also rely on dedicated employees capable of critical thinking and effective communication skills.

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