These Are the Top Skills Recruiters Look for in 2023, According to an Expert

Updated: Jan. 05, 2023

The hiring game has changed—these are the top five "skills that build skills" recruiters are looking for.

If the massive layoffs in the tech industry have you wondering what to do after losing your job, you’d be wise to consider your soft skills—people skills like communication, reliability and if you can “read the room”—as seriously as you do your more quantifiable hard skills like project management, business analysis and analytical reasoning.

The hiring game has definitely changed due to pandemic workplace adjustments and recent trends like the Great Resignation and quiet quitting. “Skills that used to be prioritized in job interviews—the technical skills typically found on a resume—are no longer the top desired traits employers are seeking,” says Nicky Garcea, industrial psychologist and president at global talent acquisition and management firm Cappfinity. “It’s all about the skills that build skills.”

According to Garcea, hiring managers have changed their hiring criteria in the last few months. There are skills you can be taught, and there are skills that reflect more about your personality and how you’ll do things like integrate with current staff, handle conflict and problem-solve. “You should highlight soft skills—like creativity and communication—as a great way to attract recruiters and help them understand more about you as a person,” says Blair Heitman, LinkedIn’s Career Expert.

Here are Garcea’s top five “skills that build skills” you need to have to get hired in today’s work environment.

The 5 Skills You Need to Land the Job

1. Curiosity

You’ll constantly expand your horizons if you ask great questions and are curious about the world around you. “You find new situations and experiences exciting because they provide opportunities for you to discover more,” Garcea points out.

2. Learning Agility

You are multifaceted and enjoy learning new things about various topics. Garcea says this is a top skill because it indicates that “you can pivot quickly from discovering information about one thing and applying it, to then quickly moving on to something new.”

3. Growth Mindset

You have the desire to conquer new challenges, even if they require persistence to succeed. Confidence and optimism will take you far in today’s job market. “It’s important to have an inner belief that you can achieve your goals,” Garcea says. “It’s attractive to employers if you find it motivating to work on things that are unfamiliar to you.”

4. Critical Analysis

You look at problems from different perspectives. Critical thinkers have both the disposition and the ability to think critically. “You review insights from multiple sources to identify next steps and make informed decisions,” Garcea says, “You grasp complex concepts, including numerical information, and can draw themes.”

5. Collaboration

You know that working with others is the best way to achieve results. Not everyone can collaborate on projects—some always have to be the driver, struggling to loosen the reins and delegate—but contributing and delivering on shared goals is an essential skill. “Working well in-person and virtually is important,” says Garcea. “Plus you have to know how to adapt your communication style.”

Why You Should Develop Soft Skills

As college costs continue to rise along with inflation, it’s a good idea to learn strategies like fostering your soft skills and educating yourself with free courses from top colleges and universities. These courses won’t earn you a degree, but they might land you an interview and give you great talking points for when a recruiter says, “tell me about yourself.”

Also, consider the power of service-industry jobs and what you can learn there. “You can always tell when a person has worked in a restaurant,” Anthony Bourdain said, “There’s an empathy that can only be cultivated by those who’ve stood between a hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop, a special understanding of the way a bunch of motley misfits can be a family.” Service industry work develops the “soft skills” recruiters talk about on LinkedIn—discipline, promptness, the ability to absorb criticism, and most importantly, how to read people like a book.