Top 10 skills employers should look for in a candidate


Times have changed and so have recruitment trends. The question is, how can employers find talented candidates? What should you as an employer look for in a candidate? Does experience matter as much as we think?

You’d be surprised to know that recruiters rarely focus on experience when looking for talented candidates. To find the perfect person for the position, you should focus on a combination of hard and soft skills. 

But let’s start from the beginning by learning the difference between soft and hard skills that will help you find talented candidates.


Soft skills

We often hear a lot about soft skills, but what exactly are they? Basically soft skills refer to the set of characteristics that are relevant to your personality trait.

These skills have to do with the abilities you’ve developed throughout the years outside or inside your profession that define who you are. 

Companies value collaboration and communication skills in their employees. Recruiters and managers often look for people who are great team players. Candidates who are able to communicate well with others. Leadership is a great example of a soft skill often found in talented candidates. 

Even if you don’t manage a team, being self-driven is also an important soft skill, companies look for.

Hard skills

On the other hand, hard skills are technical skills that are usually developed at work. They are specific to the industry/ position and level of expertise. Depending on the role you are looking for, hard skills vary.

Let’s say you are a software developer, a set of hard skills you most likely have is coding language skills and database knowledge. Hard skills are usually developed with experience and training. 

Talented candidates usually have a mix of both hard and soft skills. Some positions will require developing more hard skills than others. But every employer should look for a combination of both in their candidates.

Top 10 skills employers should focus on to find talented candidates

Every role will vary from company to company. Searching for a person who has done the exact same thing as you are looking for may not be as effective as you think. Therefore, employers should focus on these 10 skills to find talented candidates.

  • Analytical skills

Every company faces its’ own obstacles and problems, that is a natural thing. Having a team of members who are prepared to face them is essential to keep the business running. 

Analytical skill is the ability to think of a problem before taking action. 

  • Communication skills

This is a no-brainer. Communication is everywhere, whether in written or verbal form. People who communicate effectively are in high demand throughout every industry. As an employer, this is one of the first things you should look for in a candidate.

  • Interpersonal skills

Everyone has their own personality and that is great. Diversity is what makes us unique. But interpersonal skills are super necessary when it comes to business. 

No matter the industry your business is in, we are constantly engaging with clients or with our team members.

Therefore, you should always look for people who will fit in your culture.

  • Leadership skills

As we said before, even if the person you are looking for will not manage a team, it is always necessary to look for a leader.

Being self-driven will guarantee that you will not have to micromanage their every move. Work will be delivered as they will feel compromised to themselves to perform up to standards.

  • Learning skills

Knowledge is key to success, and people who have learning skills are talented candidates by default. Almost every industry requires workers to remain updated, so hiring candidates with learning skills will make the process a lot easier.

  • Multitasking skills

Studies have torn opinions about multitasking, some argue it is impossible while others speak about its benefits. Small businesses and startups are based on multitasking. 

Different situations come up at work that needs immediate attention, therefore finding people who are able to attend to these changes while keeping track of the rest of their tasks is important.

  • Adaptation skills

This one goes along with multitasking, having the ability to adapt to different environments is super important and a great skill to develop. If the recent world events have taught us something is that adaptation is key.

No matter what happens inside or outside of the company adaptation will ensure stability for your team.

  •  Organization skills

Nowadays we live in an era where technology basically helps every aspect of our lives. There are several project management tools that can help us organize our workflow. But this doesn’t change the fact that organization skills are super necessary to keep track of our tasks and prioritize our work.

  • Strong work ethic 

Creating a healthy culture at work is a crucial aspect that will ensure permanence and retention. Bringing new members to the team that has a strong sense of ethic, will most likely guarantee that the culture will remain strong.

Building trust with new members is practically impossible if their work ethic is not solid.

  •  Knowledge in different areas

I could honestly say this one is a bonus. When looking for talented candidates recruiters mainly focus on the skills they have to perform the job they applied to. 

But it is always great to meet candidates that are not only proficient in their role but also another one! 

So, is work experience important when looking for talented candidates?

Recruiters use a candidate’s experience as a way to learn about a person’s soft and hard skills depending on the role they had before. In a resume, it is important to detail the experience, but also the tasks and responsibilities you had.

Employers should then ask more questions related to their specific skills, to learn if this person is a talented candidate for the role or not.

Join the experts

Whether you are a small or medium company, working with HR partners can help you find the talent you are looking for. Check out our services and learn how our solution can help you broaden your search for the perfect candidate. 

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