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Soft Skills to Look for in Your Executive Talent Pool

Posted By: Brookwoods Group on December 5, 2020

Nicholas Humphrey, a renowned psychologist, once said that people are defined much more by their social intelligence—soft skills they use for interacting with the people around them—than they are by their quantitative intelligence.

With so many hard skills being rendered obsolete by automation and artificial intelligence, Humphrey’s statement rings truer than ever before in the workplace. In fact, the 2019 Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn revealed that 92% of talent acquisition professionals view soft skills equally or even more important than hard skills when hiring.

The following are three soft skills that recruiters should look for when taking an executive through the interview process.

recruiter interviewing candidate


1. Resilience

Although it’s always been an essential trait of successful executives, resilience probably wouldn’t have made this list if we wrote this blog a year ago. However, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the ability to identify and quickly respond to external and internal changes can make or break a business organization.

Resilience includes the quality of being tough but often involves taking risks and making unpopular decisions. It’s a muscle that all leaders have to flex at various points in their careers.

2. Creativity

Many people consider creativity to be an industry-related skill because, in some industries, businesses don’t consider creativity in their decision making. However, this is another misconception that has been blown to shreds by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has shown us that businesses need to have creative minds—the ability to think about their role and their business differently—to stay afloat. And right now, there are some fantastic examples of leaders leaping outside the box to keep their companies viable.

With numerous industries under threat, these businesses have shifted their focus and operations to adapt to what the market needs rather than focusing on what their company provides. For instance, many distilleries pivoted from producing vodka and beer to making hand sanitizer. Clothing manufacturers stopped making shirts and dresses and began making masks. Grocery stores and restaurants added delivery services to their menus when their dining rooms were vacant.

Creative thinkers not only help you adapt to change, but they also can help you stay ahead of it.

3. Business Acumen

Making executive decisions in a bubble typically doesn’t end well. A good leader will ensure that key decisions are always discussed among key executive team members before finalizing. A good executive will also know how their area of responsibility is connected symbiotically with the rest of the company.

Great executives understand interdependencies among the different areas of the business. Strong executives surround themselves with subject-matter experts who can offer insightful perspectives on key organizational decisions that may run counter to their own instincts or judgments.

Brookwoods Group’s executive recruiters tailor their search to find talent that fits with your company and your team. We’ve helped hundreds of companies—both large and small—find the right talent that adds value for years to come. Contact us and get in touch with our recruitment professionals.