Seeking Out Critical Soft Skills in a Candidate-Driven Job Market

The well of available talent has never been drier than in today’s labor market. Unemployment stands at a near-record low, creating a market where fewer and fewer people are actively seeking work. These factors translate to market leverage for recent graduates and younger professionals who are currently on the job hunt. The longstanding, 3-to-5-years of experience barrier has never been easier to surpass.

Hiring managers have been forced into placing less emphasis on experience and more on soft skills. These noble, hard-working traits prop up the flashier, top-of-the resume ones. They are the humble, tireless roadies that set up the stage upon which the main act sparkles and twirls.

It’s important to be a whiz at the technical aspects of your job, yes, but it all counts for nothing if you can’t work well with others. If you can’t adapt when things go off the rails, aren’t reliable, or if you struggle to communicate with superiors and team members.

Here are some of the most critical soft skills candidates need to possess in today’s labor market:


Polished verbal and written communication are indispensable differentiators when it comes to the hiring process. The modern workplace has become so interpersonally dependent that poor communicators stick out like a sore thumb and disrupt the daily flow of operations.

So much time is spent interacting with colleagues, or clients, that if hiring managers believe you’re a smooth, confident communicator, that alone can be enough to launch you to the top of their list. Strong communicators are rarer than you’d think.

If you’re a great communicator, flex your skills in the interview and let them know.


The working world would be an awfully cozy paradise if everything went according to plan 100% of the time. But we all know that’s not true. Keeping a clear head and staying productive when things go off the rails is a very desirable trait in fast-paced work environments where change can be more common than consistency.

Employers love to hear examples of when you’ve provided solutions after things went haywire. Embracing new approaches, encouraging others, and promoting positivity in the face of adversity are all indicators of scoring high in adaptability.


The maxim we all know and love “teamwork makes the dreamwork” extends far beyond the locker room. As much as you can accomplish on your own, your employer values an ability to be a willing and helpful collaborator as part of the greater workforce. This contributes to a healthier work environment, building an office that everyone is happy to step into every day.

Playing your part while helping others to achieve a common goal stands out to those with the power to hire you. Supply examples of when you took on tasks that may have been outside of your role to help out a team member.

Conflict Resolution

Besides things not going according to plan, conflict is another inevitability in the workplace.

As good-intentioned as we all are, problems among personnel will eventually arise. When they do, individuals who have the wherewithal and maturity to wade through uncomfortable situations with coworkers and bring about healthy resolutions are tremendous assets to companies.

Not only do people with this soft skill boost morale, but it is also a powerful demonstration of leadership potential. Get in the habit of confronting issues head-on with assertiveness.

RHM Staffing Solutions

Think you have a few of these soft skills? Almost no field makes a better home for someone like you than a recruiter. Motivated, adaptable, hard-working communicators can become extremely successful recruiters. Get in touch with us today and find out why joining our team is the best career choice you haven’t considered yet.