Soft skills: definition, objectives and list of most demanded

Soft skills are demanded in recruitment processes of companies because they are key to achieve adaptation to changing work environments....
7 February 2023

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Soft skills: definition, objectives and list of most demanded

Soft skills are demanded in recruitment processes of companies because they are key to achieve adaptation to changing work environments.

Resilience, flexibility, stress management and creativity are necessary to meet the current challenges of markets and digital transformation. 

These soft skills complement employees’ technical skills and encourage people to be the best version of themselves, which benefits both their professional development and the business strategy itself.

Given their growing importance, we will help you understand what soft skills are and which are the most demanded ones.

Soft Skills definition

Soft skills are a combination of abilities, attitudes, habits and personality traits that enable people to perform better in the workplace, regardless of their level of education or role in the organization.

Soft skills complement technical skills – known as hard skills – and influence how people behave and interact. 

Skills such as communication, leadership and empathy are increasingly sought after in recruitment and selection processes and help people thrive in the workplace, socially and personally. 

Keep in mind that these skills are constantly needed in different contexts, as you can see in these examples: 

  • To negotiate the terms of a new contract, you need negotiation skills. 
  • To present an idea or project, you use communication skills. 
  • To meet project deadlines, you need organizational and time management skills. 
  • To solve unforeseen problems, you need a critical mind and flexibility. 

Soft skills are learned throughout a person’s life and professional experience in a process of practice and error, so they take more time to develop compared to hard skills. 


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Objectives of soft skills  

From what has been said so far, it can be deduced that the objectives of soft skills are based on 5 main keys that are the anteroom that opens the door to what will later become the most demanded skills in the market. 

We list and develop them below: 

  1. Master the art of communication. This means demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively with others and, by extension, show a clear capacity for teamwork.  
  2. Cultivate critical thinking. This consists of your ability to generate constructive solutions to problems that arise by demonstrating sufficient problem-solving skills. 
  3. Demonstrate reliability and accountability. This includes completing tasks on time by demonstrating adequate organizational task completion and time management skills.  
  4. Engage listening. Demonstrate that you know how to apply your active listening skills to discussions and debates in the work environment.  
  5. Show respect. This means being able to identify ways to treat others with dignity and respect. 
Soft skills

10 most demanded soft skills  

Traditionally, leadership, self-discipline and organization have been 3 of the leading soft skills because they allow you to improve the ones of your teams, but also to achieve the best version of yourself. 

Here are 10 other soft skills that are equally strategic and valued in different types of hiring.   

Flexibility

Flexibility, especially in digital environments, is increasingly in demand in contexts that require transversal and multipurpose teams to successfully combine projects. 

Recruiters and headhunters are also looking for profiles that are willing to continuously learn new soft skills. 

Creativity

Having creative people in your teams promotes innovation in your company, but creativity is also linked to the ability to resolve conflicts. 

Communication

Communication in all its forms, including active listening and the ability to express oneself in public, is becoming an increasingly necessary skill. 

Knowing how to communicate effectively is becoming a strategic tool for building professional relationships with colleagues, clients, supervisors, etc. 

Resilience

Resilience provides the person who develops it with the necessary strength to face adversity or recover from critical situations. 

It is complemented by other skills such as creativity, flexibility and autonomy.  

Stress management

As business environments change, you need to be able to manage stress without panicking, which blocks and limits your performance.

What are soft skills?

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence or emotion management allows you to abstract from a problem by analyzing your emotions and those of your employees and developing resources. 

Time management

Time management means knowing how to prioritize and work more efficiently by betting on the value of each action. Without this organization, it is impossible to manage projects or teams and achieve the company’s goals. 

Collaboration and teamwork

Knowing how to work in a team, manage frustration effectively without affecting other colleagues, respect divergent opinions and recognize a mistake are essential soft skills in a changing and highly technological world. 

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is your ability to form your own opinion about a problem, analyze it and, independently, find the most appropriate solution.

Negotiation skills

Indispensable in the management of your projects, your negotiation and persuasion skills are necessary in a company and not only in terms of budget management. 

You may have to negotiate a salary increase, a delivery date for a product or service, the way to approach a problem or the way to resolve a conflict. 

If you want to improve the skills of your teams, you can consider setting up a professional coaching or mentoring program. 

Soft skills can also be identified and trained remotely thanks to specialized software in human resources management, both in training and in recruitment. 

In this regard, Smowltech’s proctoring plans are professional online monitoring tools that are as effective as they are easy to install.  

If you prefer to get a hands-on experience of what we offer, request a free demo with us.

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