Soft Skills in the Workplace


Hard skills are the technical expertise and knowledge needed for a job. Soft skills are interpersonal qualities, also known as people skills, and personal attributes that one possesses. Business executives consider soft skills a very important attribute in job applicants. Employers want new employees to have strong soft skills, as well as hard skills. This study identified the top 10 soft skills as perceived the most important by business executives: integrity, communication, courtesy, responsibility, social skills, positive attitude, professionalism, flexibility, teamwork, and work ethic.

Some key points

"One study found that 75% of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25% is dependent on technical knowledge (Klaus, 2010)."

"Another study indicated that hard skills contribute only 15% to one’s success, whereas 85% of success is due to soft skills (Watts & Watts, 2008, as cited in John, 2009)."

Soft skills are transferable to many different kinds of careers.

"As employers are progressively looking for employees who are mature and socially well adjusted, they rate soft skills as number one in importance for entry-level success on the job (Wilhelm, 2004)."

Top 10 Soft Skills

Integrity and Communication ranked as the 2 most important.