Make us your home page

Technical skills aren't enough in today's workplace

Some people think that hiring is all about bringing in applicants with strong technical skills. These skills are important, but are they enough?

In today's highly competitive world, it is often the softer skills that differentiate applicants and determine who will be hired, who will be successful and who will move up in the organization.

Leaders and project managers will tell you that most of their time is spent trying to get colleagues to work more effectively together or treat one another with respect. They will note that the "people problems" in their company drain their energy.

One study by American Express found that more than 60 percent of managers agreed that "soft skills" are the most important factor when evaluating an employee's performance.

What are the soft skills employers are looking for? Some of the most important:

Integrity. Ethical and honest.

Work ethic. Dependable and hardworking, willing to go the extra mile.

Being a team player. Working well with others (i.e., having a pleasant personality and working for the team versus being a bully, manipulator, backstabber or self-centered striver.)

Positive attitude and enthusiasm. Optimistic, upbeat, ability to generate good energy.

Adaptability and flexibility. Employers get frustrated with employees who are resistant to change and are rigid or unable to adapt to new directions.

Communication and confidence. A good listener who is able to clearly and concisely articulate points, spoken or in writing, using appropriate body language.

Openness and receptivity to feedback. Soliciting feedback and being willing to listen to it and make needed changes to improve; learning from criticism.

Creative thinking. Being open to innovation and able to think outside the box.

Critical thinking and problem solving. Being able to analyze information and put it together; being able to see the relationships among various functional areas to address problems.

Collaboration, conflict management and negotiation skills. Being able to work effectively with others and address conflict as it arises; being able to persuade and influence others.

Technical skills aren't enough in today's workplace 03/27/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2014 2:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  2. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  3. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  4. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba


    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  5. Engage Behavioral Health expands into Wesley Chapel


    On Aug. 5, Engage Behavioral Health celebrated the grand opening of a new clinic in Wesley Chapel.

    hillsevbiz081117: Jennifer Phelps is the CEO & Founder of Engage Behavioral Health. Photo courtesy of Engage Behavioral Health.