5 Soft Skills Your Next Engineer Needs

Soft skills for engineers

Engineering isn’t only about robotics, manufacturing, structure analysis, and programming. Surprised? Believe it or not, engineering technical skills aren’t enough to cut it these days in the field. A trustworthy, adaptable, and competent engineer has technical acumen as well as soft skills

Tech employees face decreased productivity, innovation, and growth if they don’t have soft skills. Moreover, 43% of employees agree that soft skills challenges result in problems in work with IT. And, 71% of employees report that poor soft skills result in missed deadlines and delayed projects.  

If you’re scouting talent for your next batch of engineers, read on. Don’t tunnel vision your view into technical skills. Make sure you look out for these 5 soft skills when staffing for top engineering talent:

1.  Communication

Every engineer needs solid communication skills. There will be times when engineers will need to describe and communicate project progress, explain complex concepts, maintain relationships with stakeholders, and communicate with non-technical people in the workplace. Good communication for engineers entails strong and active listening, negotiation, and clear, professional written communication and oral speaking skills. This is especially true for engineers in more senior roles.

2.  Collaboration

It’s rare for one engineer to be the only person working on a project. It’s more likely that an engineer will work with peers, as well as others from different technical and professional backgrounds. Collaboration and teamwork are important for engineers to meet shared goals and support one another. Conflict resolution is also more common with strong collaboration, so collaborative teams can avoid delays resulting from conflict. Moreover, engineering requires innovation, which often comes to life through group brainstorming and efforts, and knowledge and thought exchange.

3.  Self-Awareness

Being self-aware means knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and addressing them accordingly. Engineers should be self-aware enough to know their weak points, what triggers them, and how they respond to various situations. Moreover, self-aware engineers are more open to constructive feedback and criticism, which is essential for personal growth and project progress. There’s also a certain sense of honesty that people can sense if you’re self-aware. This helps engineers win favor and trust among his or her colleagues, stakeholders, and management. 

4.  Adaptability

Adaptability isn’t an easily learned skill in a classroom. Rather, adaptability comes with experience. Engineers must be ready to act on surprise setbacks and changes in their work environment. Whether it’s a switch in staff, shortage of products, or an adjusted timeline, engineers must think on their feet frequently to keep things running smoothly. Engineers that are comfortable with change and thinking on their feet will thrive in any workplace 

5.  Leadership 

Every company needs staff with strong leadership skills. An engineer doesn’t have to be in a supervisory role to need effective leadership skills for success. Engineers lead projects and organize various tasks and people to meet a common goal. Exercising leadership means making informed decisions, guiding other colleagues, trusting others to do their part, and working through a scenario instead of feeling overwhelmed and stagnant.


Wondering how to spot these soft skills when looking for engineering talent? You don’t have to worry about that. Here at RHM Staffing Solutions, we make it our business to connect the right people with your hiring team. We’re dedicated to finding balanced, talented individuals to meet your changing business needs. If you’re looking for candidates, call us at 630-613-8285 or email us at info@rhmstaffing.net.