Top Skills to Look for When Hiring This Year

As businesses across the world look toward building on the momentum coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, HR managers are ramping their hiring efforts in 2021. According to the Future of Work 2021 Global Outlook Special Report by Monster, 80% of hiring managers say they plan to hire more workers this year. Moreover, job seekers look to be more optimistic than ever, which creates the perfect environment for bolstering workforces.

However, the report found that 40% of business anticipate difficulty finding workers with the right skills, and one-third of survey respondents say the skills gap is worse today than it was a year ago. This makes hiring for the right skills the most important challenge for hiring this fall. The right combination of hard skills (technical skills, job-specific, training, etc.) and soft skills (personality traits, experience, communication skills, etc.) is needed for a qualified candidate. So, if you’re looking to increase staff in the next few months, here are the top soft skills and traits you should look for when hiring your next workers.


Organizations in North America have all experienced the hiring crunch originally caused by regulations and shutdowns during the pandemic. As local ordinances were lifted, hiring remained an issue for many businesses. One issue businesses are experiencing is no-shows and lack of candidates to interview, showing a lack of dependability from the start. In the report, Monster outlines that hiring managers want candidates who are punctual, aren’t taking too much time off, and follow through and complete all assignments in a timely manner.


In 2020, businesses embraced hybrid workforces while employees worked from home to follow local mandates. During this time, organizations connected on a deeper level through constant communication and video conference meetings. Collaboration is more important than ever, and hiring managers are looking to continue this trend in the near future. The report said businesses look for this skill by hiring individuals who demonstrate they can work well with others and openly embrace opportunities for teamwork.


Critical thinking and the ability to problem solve has been a highly sought-out skill for leaders for generations, and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Monster defines this as “the ability to be resourceful when it comes to work challenges and solve them without assistance.” The modern workforce has mostly moved away from a micro-managing platform to a macro-leadership coaching environment which includes autonomous professionals for sustained success.


If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that the ability to be flexible and roll with the punches is crucial in the new normal. The companies that were able to adapt on a dime and embrace technology were more successful than those who didn’t, proving that flexibility is one of the most important skills to have. This is true with employees as well. Successful workers were willing to take on new projects and different ways to get the job done, and this is what hiring managers look for with new hires.

What skills do you look for when hiring employees? How have the past two years changed your hiring outlook? Let us know in the comments section below!

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