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Ask any hiring manager or business leader what they want in a new hire, and they’ll probably tell you “good communication skills.” While a strong ability to communicate is essential for any position, there are other soft skills to look for in a new hire as well. To find out which skills are especially valuable, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

Q. What is one particularly important soft skill, besides communications, that a new hire should have?

1. Accountability

Having the technical skills and abilities to succeed at a job is important, but it’s equally key for new hires to have a sense of accountability. It’s about having an innate drive to pull your weight, do what you say you’re going to do, and ultimately deliver. If something goes wrong, I want someone on my team who isn’t afraid to own it, learn from it, and move on. —Stephen BeachCraft Impact Marketing

2. A positive attitude

Let’s face it, nobody wants to work with someone who’s in a bad mood all the time. That negative energy can bring down the whole office, mess up company morale, and even affect productivity. A new hire should be optimistic with good, positive energy to uplift the rest of your team, not bring them down. —John TurnerSeedProd LLC

3. Problem-solving abilities

One of the most underrated soft skills is the ability to solve problems without extra hand-holding. There’s nothing like a reliable employee who knows how to communicate and solve problems as they arise. If you notice that your new employee is able to handle small challenges without prompting them, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at someone you want involved in your business. —Blair WilliamsMemberPress

4. Self-confidence

It’s normal for new hires to be nervous in a new position, but it’s still important for them to be self-confident. A candidate who’s self-confident will be a self-starter and not afraid to share their ideas or to tackle their tasks head-on. Their self-confidence will shine through in the quality of their work as well as with their interactions with other team members. —Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

5. Independent thinking

I want new hires to come in with their own opinions. If everyone on the team thinks exactly the same, it is hard to think outside the box. Having a variety of minds on a team allows you to see things from other perspectives, which will help you to grow and become a stronger company. —Adrien SchmidtAristotle by

6. Emotional intelligence

Having emotional intelligence is important because it provides a way to work with different people while addressing the varied emotions and personality differences within a company. It also helps to address any workplace conflict through a calm and empathetic approach. —Angela RuthCalendar

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7. Interpersonal skills

It’s essential to see how your potential hires’ interpersonal skills are. Also known as “people skills,” these are important so you can see how they work with others, maintain and develop relationships, and take criticism. You don’t want someone on your team who takes everything personally and can’t receive feedback. —Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

8. The desire to learn

I tend to look for employees who are willing to learn and grow with the company. We should have enough pride to recognize the fact that we never stop learning. If you find an employee who is eager to learn, stick with them. —Syed BalkhiWPBeginner


9. Authenticity

I want to see authenticity and honesty. I am responsible for asking the behavioral questions, such as, what would you do if you won a million dollars? When is the last time you did something new for the first time? What motivates you? What is something on your bucket list? If someone doesn’t have quick answers to these questions or seems uncomfortable answering the question, I generally start tuning out. —Jennifer BarnesOptima Office, LLC

10. Adaptability

Even the most skilled troops go through an onboarding process in a new organization. Adaptability is a key trait that new hires should convey early on to build trust and to quickly get up to speed with new processes, tools, documentation standards. Being stubborn is a recipe for disaster. It takes a while to understand how a business operates before coming up with strategic suggestions. —Mario PeshevDevriX

11. Critical thinking

I look for critical thinking in new hires. This skill shows their logical reasoning, how they analyze problems, how they devise solutions, and how they handle difficult and delicate matters. —Kristin Kimberly MarquetFem Founder


12. Self-reliance

Despite an already-established onboarding strategy, companies still experience gaps in the training process and downtime. Rather than sit and wait for instructions, new hires should proactively research opportunities to learn more and identify projects they can support or lead. The most successful new hires are ones who can apply available time toward finding new solutions for the company. —Firas KittanehAmerisleep

13. Diligence

You can train any skill, but you can’t train personality. I hire for people’s willingness to learn and the desire to put in the work to achieve greater results. I appreciate it when my employees are responsive to feedback, able to produce fresh ideas, and available whenever their team members need them. That’s what diligence means in my view, and that’s the attitude that a new hire should have. —Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

RELATED: Square Pegs: 10 Things to Try When New Hires Don’t Fit In

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