Are You Screening for This Important Soft Skill?


A well-​functioning team needs a mix of personalities. Each team member should also possess key soft skills. Recruiters are reporting that certain soft skills are in high demand these days. Isabella Roughol, at LinkedIn, recently looked at one skill that employers should focus on.

Soft Skills Inventory

According to LinkedIn statistics, employers want incoming team members to have mastered the following soft skills. Unfortunately, these skills seem to be eluding today’s job seekers:

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management

As a manager, you understand the need to have creative employees. These team members will find unique solutions to problems, and they’ll come up with great new product ideas. The need for collaboration is also growing as team members from different departments work together to develop new programs, perhaps for training. Last week, we referred to a study about Gen Z workers, who often prefer to be individual contributors. Be prepared to train these employees on how to work as a team.


Roughol explores the topic of persuasion thoroughly. That’s because many people shy away from this skill. Persuasion has a bad reputation because too many of us have encountered aggressive salespeople. You know the ones I mean. They’ll literally follow out the door of an establishment, trying to close the deal. 

Of course, we don’t want to be associated with that kind of behavior.  But the ability to persuade is a key skill for more than salespeople. Leaders, managers and CEOs all possess persuasive skills. “Persuasion matters to all professionals because hierarchy increasingly doesn’t,” Roughol says. 

In old-​school organizations, persuasion wasn’t as important as it is today. Managers in traditional companies used the authority of their titles to issue orders. And employees followed those orders. Today, highly educated employees want to understand the reason for taking a specific action. When a co-​worker or a manager is able to articulate the reasons for taking on a project, employees will listen. When you describe in detail, the benefits of selecting one option over another, meeting attendees will pay attention. Once you convince them of the merits of your idea, they’ll be willing to participate in getting the job done.

As you hire employees, screen them for soft skills such as persuasion. When employees fall short of expectations, sign them up for training and coaching programs to help them develop their soft skills.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.