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In a corporate setting, the role and function of a Human Resource (HR) Professional can never be stressed enough. From developing and reinforcing the company culture to hiring the right candidates and improving employee engagement, HR is greatly responsible for a business’s success and building the company’s brand image.

The selection of new candidates suitable for an organization is one of the most important roles played by HR professionals. 

The recruitment and selection process ensures the right candidate is hired by the organization, who can contribute to the business’ success and growth. And, as important as the job knowledge is, HR professionals must also focus on the soft skills of the candidates, because taking a company forward is teamwork.


HR Professionals can also get help from the problem solving skills test that aims at evaluating candidates’ skills, test their ability to analyze data, and make decisions to overcome problems.

Hence, given below are some of the most important soft skills that every HR Professional should be looking for in 2021.

  1. Creativity has no better alternative

Human creativity is an important business asset that influences the employees’ ability to invent and develop new ideas. The role of creativity is pivotal in a business venture. Business creativity in the corporate world goes beyond just artistic value. Not only does business creativity improve the business culture, but it also enhances the company’s productivity by helping come up with smarter solutions. 

Moreover, creativity also contributes to a company’s innovative nature and insight. Creativity, when nurtured in the right environment, helps employees feel appreciated, which is vital for personal and professional growth.

With business creativity, an organization can address its customers in a unique, appealing way, significantly improving business success. With the ever-changing nature of the business environment, it is important to be able to keep up with the rest of the world, making creativity a must-have soft skill for new candidates.

  1. Critical thinking and reasoning

Critical and analytical thinking, alongside creativity, is another soft skill that all HR professionals should look for in new candidates. In the ever-changing business environment, critical and analytical thinking is immensely helpful in navigating the competitive landscape. Analytical skills are irreplaceable when it comes to identifying potential hazards in a business venture and formulating solutions in ways that are economically feasible and profitable.

In new candidates, critical and analytical thinking ranges from the ability to collect information and thoroughly analyze them, to making a decision based on the insights available from the analysis.

Analytical thinking and reasoning are essential for detecting patterns, observing, collecting, and interpreting data, synthesizing possible outcomes, and making decisions. Critical thinkers are gifted with the ability to look at the bigger picture and rationally understand the logical relationship between various business components. 

Moreover, critical and analytical thinking helps in optimizing and allocating available resources to maximize output, and streamline the business. Critical reasoning also helps in getting rid of unnecessary expenses and taking business decisions rationally rather than having to rely on instincts.

  1. Interpersonal communication skills

The successful and effective exchange of information and ideas is of utmost importance in the corporate world. And, to convey these ideas and information, employees have to rely on their interpersonal communication skills. Simply put, employees must be able to deliver their message and in a way that is the most accessible to the intended and the targeted audience.

Within a company, effective communication directly influences creativity and innovation. It also helps boost employee morale. Throughout the corporate framework, communication helps in maintaining strong relations and bonds, bridges the gap between employees with their employers, and encourages feedback within teams. Communication also helps in avoiding misunderstandings and conflicts in the workspace.

In addition, effective communication is crucial in building and developing strong customer relationships and reinforcing brand messaging. Through public and private communication, employees can reach out to customers and share information about the brand, establish company policies, and build connections. 

Building customer relationships is beneficial for companies in growing their businesses. Through effective communication, personal or otherwise, employees can engage and attract new clients, making interpersonal communication skills one of the most crucial soft skills a candidate can have.

  1. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ (Emotional IQ), refers to a person’s mindfulness and ability to express, control, and convey their own emotion in a way that is professionally acceptable while remaining respectful to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is one of the primary determinants of success, making it a soft skill necessary for all candidates in 2021.

Many companies, in the present times, have laid stress on the emotional intelligence of their employees. Emotional intelligence training and tests as a part of the hiring process have been made mandatory in several international companies. HR Professionals have often used a person’s EQ as a determinant of the role they would be most suitable for, especially ones that require interacting with other people, such as managers and team leaders.

  1. Judgment and decision making

The corporate world is a hostile domain that requires precision in judgment and making quick yet right decisions. While analytical thinking and reasoning influence a person’s judgment and decision-making abilities, these should also be looked at as standalone soft skills in candidates. Candidates with an inherent ability to make quick decisions and show clarity in their judgment have been seen to have an edge over other candidates. They are task-oriented and decisive, with the ability to manage deadlines with ease.

Employees with the ability to make precise decisions and judgments are insightful and farsighted. Though they can make decisions within a limited time, they avoid impulsive decisions or making emotionally driven judgments. These abilities are of great value in the corporate world and can prove beneficial to the company in the long run.

  1. Cultural intelligence and diversity

When it comes to multinational companies or those which are frequently in contact with other nations, the employees need to have cultural intelligence and awareness beyond one’s own. Moreover, cultural intelligence is also important while communicating with individuals belonging to other sectors within the same company. It allows easy communication across sectors, necessary for a company to run smoothly. Cultural intelligence makes it easier for employees to interact with individuals and corporate customers, gain their trust, and have an advantage over their competition.

Cultural intelligence helps bridge the gap between outsourced divisions, local customers, and colleagues. It leads to an in-depth understanding of the working pattern in various parts of the globe and ergonomically adapts to those patterns. It is instrumental in creating awareness of the emerging markets and management styles, making cultural intelligence and diversity a soft skill frequently sought after in candidates. 

  1. Active learning

Active learning is an important soft skill that a candidate must have in 2021. Active learning refers to the learning experience that incorporates the application of feedback for lasting knowledge. It is also helpful in picking up new skills and developing them for effective use. Employees can use active learning as a soft skill to overcome skill gaps and address other issues.

Active learning is a determinant of an individual’s overall competence in the corporate world. It helps employees to meaningfully contribute to the company’s functioning and re-evaluate previously learned facts and use them judiciously for the company’s benefit. It is equally essential for connecting ideas and improving the existing business modules.

  1. Flexibility to change

Change is inevitable in the corporate world. And the ability to adapt to changes is an important quality every candidate must have. Change in the workplace is often associated with several positive aspects. It leads to the development of skills and business strategies, encourages innovation and business opportunities. These make change an essential part of business growth. Changes prevent companies from becoming stagnant. Adapting to these changes, however, is important. It keeps the company running smoothly and helps in maximizing output.

  1. Leadership abilities

The importance of leadership in the corporate world cannot be emphasized more. With the tremendous impact, leadership has on the business culture, having such abilities sets a candidate significantly ahead of others. Leadership abilities are necessary for reshaping the workforce within the corporate space. It also helps in achieving personal and professional success. In the corporate framework, leaders serve as role models for other employees and inspire them to make meaningful contributions to their profession.

A leader has the potential to bring out the best in their subordinates and mentor them to greatness. Leadership abilities can greatly impact productivity, recognize and appreciate a job well done, and boost employee morale. This empowering of employees through leadership abilities lead to further integration and bonding within the company and thereby helps in improving the company culture.


These are some of the most crucial soft skills HR Professionals should look for in 2021. Organizations tend to only focus on the technical competencies and the hard skill sets of their prospective employees. Yet, soft skills are taking up vital space in the company functions. Hence the HR professionals must prioritize the soft skills in job seekers from now.