Soft skills – those characteristics and traits the set us apart in our professional lives – are sometimes a mystery. We never really seem to know how to identify them… or how market them to a potential employer.
With that in mind, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur council this question:
What three soft skills do you look for in every potential team member, and why?
Here’s what they said…
Curiosity, Teachability and Drive
“It’s a loop that starts with curiosity, the desire to explore an idea or investigate a topic. People who are inherently curious also want to learn and as they enter your organization, there will be plenty to learn. Finally, we look for people with passion or drive. This is the pursuit of excellence in all they do. These three related traits have helped us build a team that’s driven to succeed.”
Motivation, Attention to Detail and a Positive Outlook
“These three qualities can add a powerful punch to your team. They’re hard to find, and sometimes you have to look beyond what their role or experience has been and train accordingly. One of my favorite hires years ago was someone applying for an entry-level job that we instead hired into a management position because we saw the fire in him. He did an amazing job and has moved up even further in his career since.”
Communication Skills, Adaptability and a Proactive Mentality
“Communication is key, as it allows ideas to be expressed and workflow to be successful. Adaptability is a highly coveted soft skill because it shows that a team member is ready and willing to take on any challenges and new projects. And finally, a proactive mentality will bring this team member’s position to the next level, as they will be reaching for the stars and going above and beyond.”
A Positive Attitude, Tenacity and a Vision-Centric Demeanor
“When team members come to the table with a positive attitude, a tenacious disposition and a focus on moving the vision forward, miracles happen. Attitude really is everything and the ability to be positive in light of ever-changing conditions is key. Lastly, a focus on the vision and a commitment to move towards it daily is the key to a winning team.”
Time Management, Self-Motivation and Clear Communication
“Hubstaff is 100 percent remote, so I’m always looking to hire people who can manage their own time and be motivated to do their work on their own. Enjoying the freedom of remote working requires the ability to monitor and motivate oneself. And contrary to what many people think about remote workers, we favor people who are proactive communicators — more often than not, they’re slightly extroverted.”
Energy, Positivity and Heart
“I particularly like to work with people who have lots of positive energy and heart. As a former NBA player, I had the opportunity to spend time around a lot of talented and driven people. However, time and time again the best players were the most positive players who worked hard, had heart and possessed boundless energy. When looking for new team members, I look for energy, positivity and heart.”
Empathy, Curiosity and Attitude
“Understand where people are coming from makes for stronger relationships. Curiosity ensures that you are always asking questions, looking for new information and ideas, and bringing in a different perspective that isn’t afraid to challenge assumptions. In addition, a positive attitude is everything! Where others often see obstacles, someone with a positive attitude sees opportunities and alternative solutions.”
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.