The 3 soft skills every employer needs on their team in a post-COVID world

Jess May
Jess May
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2020 has really been a year that’s going to go down in the books.

It’s affected businesses in a way that no one (bar a very select few, maybe) could have ever seen coming, or prepared for.

One area which has taken a huge hit is recruitment. 1,784 firms made plans to cut nearly 150,000 jobs in July, almost a sevenfold increase on July 2019. * Since the pandemic began, only now, 6 months in, are some companies starting to get back into actively recruiting.

As an employer, if you’re starting to re-open your doors to find new early careers talent, you might need to give applicants a little leeway.

It’s been a hard year for students and graduates. They’ve not been able to go out and get the experience that your role may require, be it from a sandwich year, a part-time job or graduate role. After conducting a straw poll of just under 300 final year students within the GradTouch community, we received feedback from 57% saying they’re “not getting enough support” from their universities during this time.

This year, more than ever, graduates will be relying on their soft skills to stand out to employers. And this year, more than ever, you’re going to need to know which of those skills will most benefit your team.

 

Which soft skills should you be looking for right now?

We recently ran small straw poll of employers to find out which three soft skills they value the most in graduates at the moment.

Here are the top 3, and some ways you can ask your candidates to showcase them:

 

Good Communication

For a lot of employers, remote and flexible working are becoming the new normal, and maybe you’re one of them. They might be temporary measures or you could be converting to them for the foreseeable, but either way good communication skills are a must-have. You need to be able to trust team members to still be collaborative, regardless of distance, and good communication skills are a great way of showcasing this.

What you can ask candidates
How’ve you kept in touch with friends and family during the pandemic?

 

Problem Solving

There are going to be little to no businesses which haven’t been faced with an unexpected challenge this year. You should be looking for team members who know how to step up to a challenge, and can stay strong in the face of uncertainty. Those who are adaptable to change, now that how and when we work can be constantly changing.

What you can ask candidates
What was a big change you’ve had to make during the pandemic, and what did you learn from it?

 

Positivity 

For a lot of people, emotions are going to be running high during the pandemic.

There’s going to be a constant fluctuation in how people are feeling, especially with new rules being imposed that can hugely impact many peoples’ lifestyles. So, it’s no surprise that a key skill which employers are looking for in new hires is positivity. Look for people who have been proactive during the pandemic; those who’ve seen it as a chance to learn new skills or try new things, who can keep a team motivated and who can encourage others to work through any bumps in the road.

What you can ask candidates
Did you take on any projects or learn any new skills during the pandemic? What were they?

 

If you’re looking for graduates who’re able to demonstrate all these skills and more, take a look to see how advertising your role on our jobs board can help you find the perfect candidate HERE.

 

 

* https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54058559

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