14 Soft Skills New Hires Need for Success


When you’re looking to hire someone, not everything you need to know is on the resume. Sometimes, you need the right soft skill to make sure the candidate will not only fit but thrive in your corporate culture.

To find out what those crucial abilities are, we asked members from the Young Entrepreneur Council this question:

Q. What is the one “soft skill” you find most essential when considering a new hire?

1. Curiosity

While we hire for specific roles, we know that in six months (or sooner!) the needs of the company and that role will change. I want folks who can be great at their job today, but who are also always thinking about what we can do better, both internally and for our customers. A team of curious folks who ask questions will help make sure your business doesn’t stagnate. —Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

2. Emotional intelligence

When a person demonstrates a high emotional intelligence, it shows that they are perceptive and, most importantly, self-aware. New hires who possess a high emotional intelligence are always appealing candidates, because this is not a skill you can easily teach. In a team-based organization, high self-awareness is a very valuable attribute. —David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

3. Email communication skills

An essential soft skill is the ability to produce typo-free, well-written, well-formatted email communications throughout the hiring process. We have a high bar in terms of what we expect from our work product. If new hires cannot nail straightforward email communications pre-hire when they’re putting their best foot forward, I can’t expect that they will do so after they’ve been hired. —Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot

4. People skills

My business deals with clients on a daily basis. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and building a genuine rapport with clients. It’s imperative that everyone on my team understands the importance of this skill, whether or not they work with clients directly, as it is the core of our business. —Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

5. Hunger

The people I bring onto my team are go-getters. I want someone who is hungry to succeed, so that I don’t have to always instruct on what to do next. I always love someone who comes to me with ideas of how to grow and improve. There is a multitude of skills I look at when making a hiring decision, but hunger is a big one. —Renato Libric, Bouxtie Inc

6. Self-Awareness

You know that the right hire won’t be great at everything under the sun. Ask an applicant what they know they’re not good at, and they should be able to answer this questions quickly and specifically. Generic answers will tell you that they have weak self-awareness. Hires who don’t already know their own weak points require heavy management, because they won’t know when to stop and ask for help. —Roger Lee, Captain401

7. Humor and positivity

There is so much stress at times that it helps to have people on the team who can inject humor and positivity into the mix at an appropriate time. This helps the rest of the team look on the brighter side and approach any challenges in a better frame of mind. It also reduces tension and conflict. Plus, it just makes work more fun. —Angela Ruth, Due

8. Willingness to make phone calls

In a world of email and text, it’s amazing how many people refuse, or downright hate, to get on a phone call. In business, there are times when you can accomplish more in a 20-minute phone call than in 200 emails. When evaluating a new hire, look at their ability to pick up the phone, return your call, and carry the conversation. This quality can make or break one’s ability to thrive at their job. —Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

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