Top Soft Skills to Look for in Candidates


When searching for the best candidate to fill an open position, it’s easy to get caught up in finding someone with all the right technical skills. It’s definitely important to hire a person with the experience needed to excel at the position, but don’t forget that hard skills can be learned while soft skills, on the other hand are innate — so never underestimate the power they hold.

4 Must-Have Soft Skills

Don’t extend an offer to anyone who doesn’t exemplify these four soft skills:

  • Steadfastly Reliable. The last thing you want to do is to hire a wild card, so you must make sure candidates are dependable. You need someone who comes into the office on time each day and takes deadlines seriously. Gauge a person’s reliability in an interview by asking questions such as how they manage a heavy workload and how they’ve handled past situations where their personal life has interfered with work.
  • Honesty and Integrity. Dishonest employees are a major liability, as they have the power to tarnish the reputation of your entire organization. You need to be able to trust your employees, so it’s important to find out early on if a candidate is morally grounded. During the interview, question candidates on what they would do if you asked them to lie for your company or do something illegal, to assess their level of integrity.
  • Extremely Motivated. If you want to take your company to the next level, you need a team of driven employees on your side. Lazy workers are only willing to do the bare minimum — if that — so you’ll want to avoid hiring them at all costs. Find out if a candidate is a self-starter by simply asking what motivates them to get up and come to work each day. Pass on those who just want to earn a paycheck and opt for someone who is truly inspired by the work in front of them.
  • Flexible Attitude. Things change at rapid pace in the business world, which is why you need employees who can go with the flow. Those who have a hard time adapting to change can slow your entire team down, so make sure you’re hiring someone who is ready to take on any challenge thrown their way. Learn more about a person’s level of flexibility by asking them to describe a time they were forced to reprioritize to make way for a last minute project.

Think it’s impossible to find talent that checks all the boxes on your list? Partner with Barrington Staffing to find a candidate who has it all. We assume all responsibility for every aspect of the hiring process, so you can keep your focus on running your business.

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