AT A GLANCE

  • In today’s competitive talent market, hiring managers are looking for candidates who possess a wide variety of skills, including skills that are not directly related to the position and role
  • The top “soft skill” that hiring managers are seeking is emotional intelligence and empathy towards others
  • Other top non-job related skills that workers need include teamwork, negotiation, critical thinking, time management, and writing and communication

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January 01, 2016

Top 8 Non-Job Related Skills That Workers Need

In today’s competitive talent market, hiring managers are looking for candidates who possess a wide variety of skills. Not only skills directly related to the position and role, but also general “soft skills.” In this article, we list the top eight skills that workers need that are seemingly unrelated to the job.

8. Writing and Communication

Many workers who do not write or edit as a standard part of their job tasks believe that writing and communicating ability have nothing to do with them. However, according to a survey by ZipRecruiter, 51 percent of employers believe that communication skills such as writing are a requirement for their workers. For companies that offer remote work options, writing is especially important since emails and other text-based messages will be the primary form of communication with co-workers. Hand-in-hand with writing skills is verbal communication skills. Communicating effectively at work is important, regardless of field, to make clear points in meetings, give engaging presentations, or communicate clearly with colleagues, customers, partners, or suppliers.

7. Time Management

Time management is a key characteristic of productivity, so it is no surprise that it is high on hiring managers’ list of needed skills. Employers are looking for workers who are able to accurately estimate time for tasks, manage multiple tasks at the same time, and prioritize deadlines and deliverables.

6. Networking

While the job description may not directly ask for networking skills, for many candidates it is a skill that is often used at work. Networking helps to obtain new clients, recruit new talent, and expand professional circles.

5. Basic Technology

Even if a worker doesn’t work with technology directly or in a professional office setting, employers expect them to have some basic tech skills and knowledge. Most employers need employees to be able to navigate the company’s web portal to make HR changes, use the company’s communication tools, and have a basic understanding of how computers work so they can talk to IT for troubleshooting help

4. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

According to analysis by Indeed.com, mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009. Almost every level of employee in any field is required to make decisions at work, evaluate ideas, and brainstorm new ones. Ultimately, many jobs are, at their core, about solving problems. Employers value workers who have trained their minds to think critically, developed powers of observation, and are able to make efficient and informed decisions. Many workplaces highly encourage creative thinking, or coming up with new ways to do things that add value to the work environment and in servicing customers.

3. Negotiation

While negotiation skills are important for salary negotiations during the recruiting process, there are other times where they are valuable as well. Through good negotiation, it’s possible to resolve conflicts and find win-win solutions for the team. Many workers have to negotiate regularly with clients or vendors, or with co-workers about project details or even to switch shifts.

2. Teamwork

Many companies emphasize the importance of cultural fit and the ability to work well on a team, both for entry-level jobs and higher positions. Very few people are employed in jobs that are entirely solitary, and so they rely on others for their work and others rely on them. Highly effective teams communicate well and share common goals. To be a good team player, a worker should be able to collaborate with others, build trust with the team, and handle criticism well.

1. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Ultimately, hiring mangers want to bring onboard people who are empathic towards others. Empathizing with others helps to better understand the needs of customers. It also helps to motivate others and to deal with conflicts. It’s also useful in understanding unspoken communication, convincing others of a point of view, or to more accurately predict the actions and reactions of people.

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