The top soft skills recruiters are looking for, especially during COVID

As the world continues to change, the skills most important to recruiters change alongside it. Here are the top 4 soft skills recruiters are looking for while hiring in a post-COVID world.
October 14, 2020
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As the world continues to change, the skills most important to recruiters change alongside it. This year, we have been facing a worldwide pandemic, which has caused us to adapt in various ways; the most notable being our shift to a virtual world. Most jobs have moved online, and thus, prioritize different skills. People working to enter or return to the working world are having to adjust to these changes. They may find it much tougher to give employers what they’re looking for. Here are the top 4 soft skills recruiters are looking for while hiring in a post-COVID world: 


Communication has never been more important for a company’s success. Now that everything is virtual, employees are having to find ways to communicate effectively without being side-by-side with who they are speaking with.

Not being in-person means the focus is now less on your body language and more on your voice and tone when it comes to both verbal and written communication. You need to have the ability to keep the person you are talking with engaged in conversation. Verbally you will need to be able to articulate your message, use the appropriate tone, and convey it over a virtual platform. When communicating through email or instant messaging, employers may prefer you to be precise and to the point, as responses usually aren’t as quick.

Communication has always been important, but now more than ever, over communicating is necessary to ensure your team stays aligned and focused. 

Adaptability and flexibility

The virtual shift has tested the world’s ability to adapt. This has caused a lot more challenges for most companies, as nothing is constant. Employers may want to make sure that you are ready for the challenges that could be faced. As the workplace continues to change everyday based on the current state of the world, you need to be able to change with it. 

Your ability to adapt will also help with critical thinking. In order to adapt, you will have to think of creative and innovative solutions to how you might be able to solve the problem. Taking risks is essential in this process, as many of the problems companies are facing now are problems they have never faced before. Every company has challenges, and they need people to be able to adapt to the situation and solve the problem. Rasmussen College has created a guide to help you understand more about critical thinking, and how to improve this skill to help your adaptability. 

Emotional intelligence 

This skill is one which moved up in the ranks according to LinkedIn at the start of 2020, and now with COVID, this skill has become even more valuable. Employers aim to promote an open and supportive company culture. Especially while interviewing, hiring managers may prioritize looking for someone who can really connect with them despite the online barrier. 

This soft skill can contribute to other skills such as leadership, collaboration, and teamwork. Understanding the feelings of those around you will not only help to improve overall team cohesion, but also promote growth in the workplace. Listening to the thoughts and ideas of others will contribute greatly to achieving goals and innovating certain processes and actions. 

Evidence of continued learning

As the future of work changes, the skills necessary to succeed will also change. The only way to stay relevant for the future of work is a commitment to continued learning. Your education doesn’t stop once you finish school, but rather continues throughout your entire lifetime.

COVID-19 has forced people to update and improve their skills, but the good news is there are more opportunities now than ever before. Bootcamps, online courses, virtual internships, and more have made up-skilling or re-skilling more accessible than ever. For students, these opportunities provide hands-on experience to help them get ahead. For businesses, these opportunities are a great way to work with students and find potential future employees while seeing their skills at work.

One place to learn about the value of work-integrated learning and the importance of building up your skillset is Riipen. Riipen is a worldwide marketplace that connects companies with educators and students to complete work-integrated learning experience. If you are interested in learning more, check out our website, or contact our team at to get started with Riipen.

About the author

Austin Gumbs is a Marketing Intern at Riipen and is currently a third-year University of Toronto student studying Business. He enjoys getting involved with his University community through his work on different clubs. When he isn’t working on extracurriculars, you can find him at his desk watching various Netflix shows and YouTube videos, playing games, or working on a new hobby of his: glass painting.

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