In our last blog we talked about how, as unemployment decreases and the job market evolves, employers are becoming increasingly interested in non-traditional candidates.

These candidates might not have all the typical prerequisites for the job, but it’s their soft skills that make them ideal hires.Here’s why you should spend more time refining these soft skills.

Reason #1: Soft skills enable candidates to master necessary hard skills over time.

Characteristics like communication, self-awareness, empathy, and teachability (to name a few) are what indicate a candidate’s teamwork and time management abilities, as well as his or her willingness to roll with the punches as responsibilities change.

Maybe you don’t have the certifications you need for your industry right now, but a potential employer will recognize your ability to earn them in the future based on characteristics you demonstrate in an interview.

Reason #2: Employees’ soft skills, or lack thereof, directly affect company culture — and the whole team’s productivity levels.

Some consider these qualities too abstract to measure, but a study from the University of Michigan found that conducting training to improve employees’ soft skills helped generate 256 percent net ROI and boosted both productivity and retention by 12 percent.

That’s a pretty measurable difference for something industry professionals have historically found challenging to quantify.

Reason #3: Soft skills, like self-awareness, play a huge role in employees’ furthering their careers beyond their current positions.

This means knowing where you excel — and where you fall short. We call this “Emotional Intelligence”.

Test out your emotional intelligence with our quick quiz. It’ll give you an idea of what skills you should sharpen to kickstart your career, progress to the next level, or even make an entire career change.

Companies aren’t just hiring people to do a job — they’re also hiring co-workers. Employers are looking for team members, which means they have a vested interest in finding candidates who not only have the skills and experience to do the job well, but also fit in with their company culture.

At ETS we like to say, “It’s all about people.” While mastering innovative technology and machinery is at the forefront of innovation in the Champlain Valley, none of it would be possible without collaboration among dedicated team members, from engineers to technicians and assemblers — and beyond. To create unlimited possibility, it’s paramount we know how to work together.

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