Why Small Business Owners Should Hire for Soft Skills vs. Experience

It's no secret that finding good employees these days is challenging and it's especially challenging for small business owners.


Most small business owners focus on finding employees with specific experience, hard skills and this could be a mistake and result in a mis-hire.


"According to a Leadership IQ study, almost half of new hires fail within 18 months. Just 11 percent of those failures are due to a lack of hard skills; the rest comes from a lack of soft skills."


In a small business environment, everyone is working closely with one another, so communication would be an obvious important soft skill. It's crucial that your employees have the ability to understand and be understood, as well as having the willingness and ability to listen.


Collaboration is another soft skill small business owners should look for when hiring, teamwork and a team player contributing to the success of the business.


According to a 2016 LinkedIn study, the top 10 soft skills employers look for most are:

  1. Communication (specifically, active listening)

  2. Organization (planning and implementing projects)

  3. Teamwork

  4. Punctuality

  5. Critical thinking

  6. Sociability

  7. Creativity

  8. Adaptability

  9. Interpersonal skills (in one’s relationship to others)

  10. Friendly personality

Mindful Recruiting Solutions is dedicated to helping Small Businesses because we understand the challenges of recruiting and hiring for a small business.

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