Every job has essential hard skills and experience necessary for the work. Even though these skills are extremely important, there are specific soft skills that organizations look for when hiring workers. Here are the soft skills that today’s top employers focus on.

Conflict Management

When gathering people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in a high-pressure environment, conflict naturally arises. But despite its prevalence in the workplace, many leaders feel uneasy dealing with conflict.

This discomfort arises from a variety of situations, but some of the most common ones include demonstrating vulnerability, recognizing employee achievements, and delivering the company goals in a genuine way. Employers need leaders that can identify the signs and stages of conflict escalation, how to de-escalate conflict, and how to recover broken workplace relationships.

Stress Management

Stress has become an increasingly common part of the modern work experience. The sheer volume of projects, as well as the invasion of work into their personal life, often overloads employees.

Sustained high stress at work is linked to employee burnout, a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Employees that can manage their stress, and practice good work-life balance, are more productive in the long-term than workers that can’t.

Communication Skills

Bing a good communicator is one of the skills that often define a good manager. Executives and managers are clear, concise, and honest in their verbal and written communications, but also effective listeners.

Nonverbal communication skills are also important. In business, understanding nonverbal cues are crucial to sending the right message, as well as interpreting those of others. Most aspects of nonverbal communication are often forgotten, such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to be aware of, control, and express their emotions, and understand and influence the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is a necessary ability in work environments that are high stress, have tight deadlines, and have people being moved from team to team for different projects.

It is desirable for organizations to employ people who are able to control their emotions, work together to complete projects, and be effective team members. Workers with high emotional intelligence can improve productivity, efficiency and team operations.


Storytelling is a powerful skill that can captivate an audience, hold their attention, and motivate them to action. Listening to a story activates different parts of the brain, leading us to see and feel the things the storyteller is describing.

Employees on certain teams like sales and marketing likely already know the power of a good story, but anyone can benefit from their storytelling skills. It can help employees improve their presentation skills, professional networking abilities, and internal team building.

Change Management

In the coming years, we’re expecting some major changes in the workplace: automation and AI will replace some jobs while dramatically changing others. The very nature of employment is also changing, with an increase in remote work and the prevalence of the gig economy.

Change can be overwhelming, but there are ways to help employees more effectively navigate and accept change. By having employees that can adapt quickly, learn new skills, and embrace change, organizations can grow faster and stronger.

Leadership and Persuasiveness

Leadership is not simply being the one in charge and leading a team. It is the ability to persuade other employers, including your peers. Employers need people that can work alongside other people, be able to explain to them their expert opinions and persuade them to make decisions that align with their ideas.

This is an extremely valuable trait as team members are viewed as subject matter experts in their field for the projects they are going to be working on. Team members that are persuasive leaders move from project to project, using their skills to ensure their part of the project is finished on time. Persuasive peer leadership is an admirable trait that will ensure teams are successful.

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

Quantifying information is assigning numerical values to pieces of information, and sorting that information for analysis. This is a highly desirable skill due to the amount of information that is being gathered on a daily basis.

Employers want people with the ability to think critically and analytically. They’re able to collect data on employee performance, project completion, or any number of business activities. Employees that are able to identify trends in large amounts of information are in high demand.

Strong Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is the drive to be working and do well. Finding and hiring people that possess a strong work ethic is key to the success of any employer. A strong work ethic is hard to teach, and harder to maintain if it doesn’t exist already.

Self-realization, self-reflection, and dedication to change on a person’s part can create a stronger work ethic, but employers do not have time or the inclination to help a person develop this essential skill.