As the world of work continues to change rapidly, employers know that today’s best employees will be those who can adapt to change and face the never ending wave of challenges, not just be content with mastering technical requirements. In fact, a recent study predicts that by 2030, two in three jobs will require a greater focus on soft skills, not hard skills, as automation and globalization bring about a marked shift in the need for skills.

Here is a list of top five traits modern employers look for in a candidate:


strong communication skills

71% of job ads cite communication as a key pre-requisite. Indeed, in the digital age, how you communicate your views, listen to others, and participate in brainstorming sessions to come up with innovative solutions is a critical aspect of how well you do at a job. Employers look for people who are not only good at articulating their thoughts, but also mindful of keeping discussions on track, respecting others’ opinions, and not getting personal at any time during debates.

time management

48% of recruiters say time management is a key factor for success in today’s digitally-driven startup business environment where bosses often expect employees to multi-task on jobs.  While the ability to prioritize tasks based on importance and delivery timelines matters most in small companies, large companies too are beginning to give importance to candidates who can understand and map their own path.


This trait is one of the most sought after by large companies as they often operate within strict and highly regulated procedures and require people who can adapt to their norm. Nearly half of recruiters say employers rate adaptability as one of the critical factors for entry-level hires. Those who can adapt to change and see it as an opportunity for growth have what it takes to thrive in the new digital reality, where micro-revolutions in technology and the world of work happen every 12-18 months.

understanding of customers

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product to become the single most important differentiator for businesses across industries. No surprise that employers want to hire candidates that demonstrate a keen sense of understanding for their target audience.  For instance, a sports company may want to hire candidates who have a flair for sports or have played at school or higher level.

willingness to learn

Being in a state of continuous learning is a key advantage in today’s world of work as new technologies and solutions upend traditional business models and half-life of skills falls rapidly. Candidates who demonstrate a proactive streak in updating themselves with the latest advances either through formal trainings or by reading online, listening to webinars/podcasts, keeping an eye on what competitors are doing, etc. are a key asset for employers.

employee of the future

Thanks to technological advances and augmented ways of working, employees of the future will be more creative, outspoken, and driven by passion than their predecessors ever were. They will rate company fit i.e. their fitment to company culture over most traditionally important aspects such as salary and benefits. That itself speaks volumes about the future of work and how employees and employers will change over time. Are you ready to be an employee of the future?