“Their communication skills and tolerance for ambiguity serve them well. The trick is getting that first job”

Matt Reed:

I think we’re asking the question too broadly. Instead, it’s probably helpful to distinguish between the skills that get someone in the door and the skills that get them promoted.

Part of the confusion comes from asking different people the same question. If you ask CEO’s what they want, you tend to get a lot of references to soft skills. That makes sense; they’re looking at their best people, and at what sets them apart from the rest. But actual hiring managers on the ground hire to solve more immediate problems. That tends to mean more focus on training that will solve the problem that’s right in front of them. If the employee also happens to have the soft skills, that’s great, and it bodes well for longevity, but it’s not what they’re looking for in the moment.