While you may think coding, data analysis and accounting skills are the must have ones in this technology driven era, they aren’t the only ones. There are also many "soft skills" that can help propel your career to the next level. From the ability to learn on your feet to tech know how, here’s a look at the top skills recruiters and hiring managers are looking for out of their candidates.
1. The Ability To Learn Fast
Time is money and the longer a company has to spend training you, the more it is going to cost them. According to J.D. Conway, technical recruiter and talent acquisition partner at BambooHR, the ability to comprehensively see how your role fits into the company, and act efficiently matters a lot. “The faster you pick it up to make a full contribution, the faster you will be seen as an asset, rather than a liability,” he says.
2. Technology Know-How Gets You Past The Door
Tech professionals will continue to be in demand through 2016. According to staffing firm Robert Half’s Salary Guides for 2016, tech employees will see a 5.3 percent increase in salary as companies look to hire application and database developers, business analysts, system and network engineers and help desk and desktop support professionals. While many of those jobs are going to require specific skills, there are also some soft technology skills applicants are going to need to have, including Windows 7 and virtualization skills. Even a support role is going to require a good understanding of technology including operating software, cloud and mobile applications.
3. Drive and Adaptability
There’s a reason “go-getter” is often listed in job ads: employers want workers who will go beyond their pay scale. Many companies looking for talent view you as an investment and want someone who has a drive to go beyond the status quo, says Conway. They also want employees who are adaptable and willing to change on the dime. In this fast paced global economy, companies need to be nimble to respond the changes in the business environment and they need employees who can as well. “Your desire to become great at what you do—to learn, to grow—is an indicator as to how you will perform in any given position,” says Conway.
4. Financial Skills
Financial jobs have and will continue to be a strong area of job growth with Robert Half predicting finance and accounting salaries will see a 4.7 percent uptick this year. In-demand jobs in finance and accounting including accounting managers, business and financial analysts, internal auditors, accountants and payroll professionals. But just like with technology jobs, there are some skills employees are going to have to possess. According to Robert Half, those in-demand skills include advanced Excel skills, knowledge of business intelligence and enterprise resource planning software, and cloud based software experience, just to name a few.
5. Ability To Communicate
One of the knocks against technical degrees is that students don’t learn the soft skills like the ability to communicate. But that skill is something that is necessary and sought after, even if you are going for a technical role. Without it you won’t be able to get your points across, collaborate efficiently or worse, fit into the company culture. All of which is why companies hold communication skills high up when it comes to screening candidates. “Almost everyone says they have them, but being actually adept in working and communicating with people is something that everyone will look for in the hiring process,” says Conway. “People want to work with people that communicate well.”
6. Screening Of Your Own Skills
When looking for a job, candidates are placed under a microscope as the recruiter are hiring manager sifts through the resumes for the right candidates. Although it is the job seeker who gets screened, that doesn’t mean he or she can’t do some screening themselves. In fact Conway says the ability to screen potential employers is a skill everyone needs to possess when the job environment is doing well. “In an improving job market, employers are trying to up their game in competing for talent. This has positive ramifications, in that employers have to improve their perks, benefits, and management training, etc. in order to compete with other companies that are doing it better,” says Conway. “But instead of actually changing, some employers will just give a glossy impression of their company to outsiders. Do your research. Otherwise, you could find that you have left one bad situation only to land in hot water elsewhere.”