When an employer is recruiting for an open position, they look for people with the skills to perform the task. Whether the job candidate needs to be able to wrangle PowerPoint to create presentations or know how to crunch numbers under a time constraint, the skills are the bedrock for almost all jobs.

But there are plenty of important qualities outside of skills. More than 75 percent of managers are looking for candidates with soft skills. But don’t let that term fool you. You might have an IQ of 180, but if you cannot work well with others, you are useless to future employers. “Soft skills” is the term used for the many ways in which personality and character traits affect job performance and work in an organization.

The Most Important Qualities

The following are “magic X-Factor” qualities needed for any workplace.

  • Communication: Does the candidate show good communication skills? Being able to express yourself clearly, both in speech and in writing is an essential skill for any worker. Think of emails and how often they carry the message!
  • Attitude: Does the candidate seem positive towards the job? It’s essential for morale and future engagement that they feel positive about the organization and the position. Look for how they react to questions about their previous job experience. A negative or uneasy reaction may signal a poor past attitude.
  • Cooperation\teamwork: A willingness to work in teams could be very useful, especially if much of your work is based on teams. Be sure to assess if they seem social enough to work as a group member, and if cooperation and collaboration is something they have demonstrated.
  • Goal-oriented: Contemporary organizations are organized around goals. Employees who have goals for themselves can be more productive and engaged that those who don’t.
  • Proactiveness: Taking initiative is crucial to good performance. Will the person you’re interviewing perform without being told what to do? Or will they wait around to be asked to do things?
  • Organized: An organized employee will be a contributor to a smooth-functioning department. 
  • Integrity: Will the candidate do what they say they are going to do? You need to be able to rely on their word and on the performance of their duties.
  • Accountability: An accountable employee will accept responsibility for their performance. Accountability makes your job as a manager easier and ensures the smooth functioning of departments.
  • Creativity: Creative employees are vital, especially if your team’s job includes brain-storming ideas, programs or policies, or includes specific creative skills, like writing or designing. But creative people also react to change well. If changes are ahead for your department, look for creativity. Creative people tend to be great problem solvers.

Graham Staffing Services Can Help!

Staffing agencies can help you hire people with both the hard skills and soft skills you need. We can help develop interview methods to find people with the soft skills above, recruit for them and check references to ensure your employees have the qualities you need.

Put Graham Staffing Services to work for you by contacting us today.