Ask any hiring manager and he or she will tell you – job responsibilities are becoming more and more complex. Administrative assistants need to be able to manage high-tech software, human resource managers need to understand marketing goals and network administrators need to be personable with the entire staff.
This mix of technological and interpersonal skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” keeps a workplace harmonious and productive. These skills seem general, even simple, but that really means they are transferable – they are the foundation for success in almost every position. When looking for a new candidate in an open position, be sure to look for these three essential skills:
- Teamwork: Every company has layers, and being able to collaborate with those above you, below you and in different departments is essential to boosting productivity. Being part of a team helps generate fresher ideas, put out fires quickly and support other employees, both temporary and permanent, on big picture projects.
- Communication: In many workforce environments, employees are no longer isolated to floors or cubicles. At some companies entire departments are intermixed, which means your staff will not only see, but also work with people in different positions, from vice presidents to mechanics. No matter the position or industry, knowing how to conduct a well-written memo or email, polite, professional phone calls and even video conferencing will help the whole workplace run more smoothly.
- Multitask – These days temporary and permanent employees must wear many hats. As a manager, you will need your staff to take on unexpected assignments or step up for leadership roles, and still balance all of this with their regular daily tasks. Effective multitaskers are expected to think quickly and critically, staying organized and managing time effectively.
Often, the soft skills you seek will depend on the office’s needs. You can also help your current staff strengthen these skills by giving them additional challenges that craft the character traits missing in your workforce. With strong soft skills, your employees become irreplaceable, helping you make long-term decisions about projects and opportunities, especially about workers in temp-to-hire positions. Look for staff members who are:
- The calm in the chaos – Find a team member who is a duck. In other words, on the surface they look like they’re gliding along smoothly, even if underneath the water they’re paddling their feet like crazy. That is the employee you can rely on to help solve any crisis.
- The trustworthy listener – Hire a candidate that avoids gossip and keeps personal information private. They will be a good listener, a steady worker and an honest employee; one can stay in the loop without adding to the drama.
- The eager employee – If a new project opens up last minute do you have a handful of reliable employees who will jump on it? One of the most useful soft skills is consistent helpfulness. Find an employee who takes every opportunity to help meet tight deadlines, and can also handle their current workload.
Are you looking to build soft skills in your team? Maybe you want to bring in a few new workers to enhance productivity and workflow? At TxMQ, we understand the high value of reliable employees with strong soft skills.