The evolution of recruitment: Embracing soft skills for long-term success


When hiring a candidate for a crucial position, the recruiting team often comes to a crossroads while choosing between two candidates who are the right technical fit. Though both seem ideal for the job role, only one candidate can be hired. Hence, the ultimate dilemma.

soft skills in recruitment

More and more companies are solving this dilemma by prioritizing dynamic and soft skills during hiring.

Mercer Mettl is an online assessment platform that helps you hire the right candidate using Psychometric, Personality, Aptitude, and Skill-Based Tests.

As mentioned in The Soft Skills Disconnect, a study conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, soft and people's skills contribute to 85% of job success in the workplace. This data was originally extracted from a study of Engineering Education published by the Carnegie Foundation in 1918. This means organizations have explored the importance of soft skills in different job roles for decades.

Today, soft skills are used to hire valuable and skilled talent during recruitment. These skills, such as social skills, communication ability, personality, attitudes, and emotional intelligence, help employees navigate challenging work situations, ensure optimum client relations, and achieve personal goals in tandem with organizational objectives.

Let's explore the importance of soft skills in modern recruitment strategies.

Importance of soft skills in recruitment

Today’s job market is evolving, which is why the hiring team is seeking well-rounded individuals. Not only should these professionals have technical knowledge, but they should also be collaborative, adaptive, and agile to adjust to dynamic workplace situations.

Employers are using hiring strategies to gauge candidates' negotiation skills, networking abilities, and problem-solving skills. A candidate exhibiting these skills succeeds in specific client-facing or critical job roles and positively contributes to the team.

Why are soft skills critical?

  • A candidate’s soft skills complement their technical or complex skills. A business development executive can succeed in a competitive market by utilizing their market knowledge as well as strong communication skills.
  • These interpersonal skills help professionals work in a team. In every organization, teamwork offers optimum results, and hiring candidates who are team players helps boost the team’s productivity.
  • Professionals with high emotional intelligence handle challenging situations better. They communicate effectively and offer innovative ideas, increasing workplace productivity.
  • Soft skills help professionals interact and collaborate with stakeholders and clients, building effective and valuable business partnerships.

What soft skills should businesses look for?

Hiring teams evaluate different soft skills at the time of hiring; some are specific to the job positions, and some are basic interpersonal skills important for every employee.

1. Communication

Effectively communicating involves speaking, listening, and comprehending. It means understanding clients’ or team members' requests, identifying challenges, and constructively responding with a solution. This skill is necessary to thrive in the workplace and build valuable relationships with team members, stakeholders, and customers.

2. Adaptability

Adaptability is the key to surviving in a changing landscape. Professionals who are able to embrace new technologies, build new skills, and adopt new strategies thrive in the workplace. This skill is necessary for people working in constantly evolving customer-facing roles or industries.

3. Problem-solving

Professionals, even in technical job roles, must consistently find creative and strategic solutions to challenges. This interpersonal skill helps move above the set patterns and mainstream explanations to adopt innovative approaches.

4. Emotional intelligence

Employees encounter various challenging workplace situations, many of which may invoke an emotional response. Emotional intelligence helps professionals stay calm and empathetic, allowing them to regulate their emotions, resolve crucial conflicts, and move forward positively.

5. Critical thinking

Critical thinking helps professionals process information objectively to make better decisions. This ability allows employees to thrive in challenging situations by using logical arguments, essential information, and strategic decision-making.

6. Time management

One of the key soft skills in this hustle culture is to manage time. Professionals should be able to manage tasks strategically, ensure efficiency, consistently meet deadlines, and achieve outcomes. A well-organized individual is able to divide their time between different tasks according to organizational goals.


Candidates with optimum soft skills help businesses manage stakeholder and customer relations effectively, strategically approach challenges, and ensure high productivity. Therefore, using soft skills evaluation at the time of recruitment improves hiring efficiency, reduces turnover, and enhances employee satisfaction.


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