Top Soft Skills Organizations Are Looking For in 2021

Global Employability

It’s all about the skills you have. In today’s competitive job landscape, made more competitive by the pandemic,  you need to have the right mix of hard and soft skills to be employable.

In a post-pandemic, tech-first world, organizations are now looking for people who can seamlessly fit into this new way of working. Soft skills and tech capabilities are now more important than ever for enhanced teamwork and group learning.

Here’s a look at the must-have skills in a changing world.

Tech competencies

This is now a can’t-hire-without skill. Tech defines everything we do today and, at work, it’s really something we simply cannot do without.

While robotics and automation were oft-used in the past, 2020 was when we really saw these technologies get an impetus. This trend has now set the tone for the coming years, where companies realise how new-age technologies are essential to ensure high productivity and lower costs. With this being the new norm, workplaces require employees to have strong technical capabilities.

Growth mindset:

In a fluid world, we need to be a lot more flexible and willing to grow and innovate. This is why you need to have the right mindset – a growth mindset does not assume that intelligence, character, and creative ability are static. Instead, it is based on the idea that all these are essential qualities that can be cultivated through one’s efforts, thereby helping an individual change and grow through experience and practice. With the dynamic nature of work today, companies will look to hire those who are willing to learn, be agile in their approach, and are curious by nature.

Continuously learning

As workplaces change, it is important for individuals to continuously adapt to the changes, in order to stay relevant. People must make consistent efforts to hone their existing skills, and learn new ones to stand a better chance to survive and thrive in this competitive world. Learning must never stop. Those who exhibit a quest for learning are the ones who stand a better chance of becoming part of organizations that provide the right environments for career growth.

Critical thinking

The ability to think with clarity and rationality is important in the workplace of today. Having independent and reflective thinking helps people understand the logical connections between ideas. This is even more important in a post-Covid world, where businesses are likely to face new challenges every now and then, which will require teams to be more focused on problem-solving and having a rational mindset.

Survival skills

2020 taught us that having a survival instinct matters most, and this applies to work too.  Today companies are looking for people who have the desire to succeed even in the face of adversity. It’s a life skill that is largely inborn, but you can train yourself to be more resilient. If an organization identifies this skill in you, it’s bound to go down favorably.


This is another important skill that will fare you well in the employability landscape. People who are receptive to change and ambiguity will thrive in the new normal. The truth is that today’s workplace is more fluid than ever, and it needs people to recalibrate often – to adjust to the new, changing realities and systems. This is why being flexible and agile will prepare you to thrive better in today’s workplaces.


This is an evergreen skill that will never age. And it’s a trait that organizations truly value – it’s what helps teams overcome the toughest of challenges. A team that shows up regularly won’t back off if and when times get tough. Make sure you showcase this skill in an interview.

Time management

Managing time has always been critical, but it assumes an even more important role in the face of a remote work environment. This means that organizations should be able to trust their workforce to complete their tasks, without having to micro-manage. In today’s day and age, when distractions are in plenty, it is easy to get into the trap of social media while at work. You need to be disciplined about your time, because managing it is one of the best skills you can bring to your work.

Decision making

When you work, you make daily decisions and, at times, these decisions can impact the business significantly. This is why having the ability to assess well and make conclusive decisions regularly is critical at work. And yes, not every decision you make can go right, but that’s part of the learning you should be willing to do in order to get better and more intuitive at making the right decisions. On this note, there’s one book about decision making and thinking that you must read – it’s called Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002.


Remote work might have taken the joy of having team meetings physically or enjoying that coffee break with colleagues, but collaboration still features among the top qualities that companies are looking for today. Virtual work can be isolating and this is why it requires a bigger effort to stay connected now. Having a collaborative approach is a great indicator that someone will be a good team player.

If you are to get that job, you need to work on your soft skills, apart from adding to the hard skills required for the job. While the latter may vary depending on the job function, the former skills are those that you will need irrespective of the industry and type of work. It’s a changed new world.

Date added

Filed under:

Global Employability


No spam, just your favourite topics.

Choose Insight topics that you are interested in to subscribe for your personalized newsletter.

A world
of possibilities awaits.
Join the movement.
Find your perfect university,
in one of 40 countries all over the world
Prepare for the future,
whether at university, business or in employment
Secure your future,
through STEM courses
Connect with leading international companies
and unlock the potential of your team
Fill in the form, so we can contact
you and start our journey together.