Soft skills are sometimes more important than domain skills. Technical skills can be taught through training, but interpersonal, respect, trustworthiness and other core behavioral skills cannot. You either have them or you don’t.
Ask 100 Human Resources professionals what the top 5 core traits they look for in a candidate/new employee and you will most likely get almost 100 varying responses. In order to accurately gauge what is important depends on the perspective of the hiring manager/interviewer and the industry you’re in. The construction industry is different than financial services, as is restaurant from manufacturing. We’re in healthcare so here are 5 of the top traits that we look for in employees.
1. Professionalism and reliability.
How do they present themselves during an interview? Are they clean and neat? Are they well spoken and polite? How is the candidate’s demeanor? We look for confidence without arrogance. Did they show up on time and are they well prepared? Will they work the schedule that is set for them. True professionals possess several characteristics that can be applied to all kinds of businesses.
2. Honesty and Integrity.
Is the employee truthful with a strong moral compass? During the interview did they answer the questions honestly and with sincerity? Is there false information on their resume? Lying on a resume may not cause you to lose your job, but your manager will lose trust in you.
3. Adaptability, Flexibility and Positivity.
Candidates who are open and less resilient to change. Are they flexible if the need arises to work in another location or a different shift? Positivity in the workplace is contagious and can help turn a department. That type of energy is important because it only takes a few negative people to take a department down.
4. Technical Skills and Strong Work Ethic.
Does the employee have the education, experience, and skill set to not only do the job but be successful? Does the employee take pride in their work? Do they take responsibility for their own actions. Employees who have a strong work ethic will be able to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. A strong work ethic encompasses discipline, integrity, and teamwork.
5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills.
In order to be successful at work, employees need to know how to communicate effectively, listen to what others are saying and understand body language in order to be able to work with supervisors, co-workers and clients.