The top 5 soft skills companies need most in 2020

Technical skills for a job are generally more obviousPython should come easy to a data analyst, and a digital marketer should have an in-depth understanding of SEO and the customer journey. But what “soft skills” are hiring managers across the board seeking in 2020?

Emotional intelligence

Self-awareness, empathy, and social soft skills are often what move employees—and by extension, their companies—forward on the performance path. IQ has been a hot topic for over 100 years. But what about EQ? A CV splashed with technical qualifications and impressive accolades will undoubtedly open doors of opportunity, but it’s emotional intelligence that will forge your path to leadership. Read more about why employees with average IQ often outperform their coworkers with high IQ here.


Robots can do a lot. Think AI, machine learning, computer visionthey take our old ideas and optimize our solutions. Quickly, accurately, and efficiently. But what can’t they do? Come up with brand new ideas. For now, that’s still our job—and arguably one of the most important soft skills to have in your toolbox. 


Things move at hyper-speed in today’s digital world. What worked yesterday won’t always work tomorrow. Expect the unexpected. Plan for change. The five-year business plan is dead and outdated. To fall in love with an old idea is to commit to a space behind the competition. We have to be quick on our feet if we want to survive tomorrow’s market.

person explaining something

Public speaking

Storytelling. Persuasion. Selling. Companies famously seek candidates with that “entrepreneurial mindset.” But an entrepreneur incapable of telling a convincing story is an entrepreneur incapable of garnering investors. How can you get better at public speaking? Practice, practice, practice. 


We look to our leaders to make tough decisions, and to own them. LinkedIn calls decisiveness a “critical factor in establishing our leadership credibility.” Uncertainty is not unique to any sector, industry, or job role. But the confidence and courage to make a difficult decision in moments of uncertainty? This is a characteristic that distinguishes team leader from team member—and a characteristic that companies desperately need.

Moving into the new decade, companies need workers with skills unique to humans. Focus on developing these soft skills—in addition to the technical requirements for your industry—and recruiters will come knocking.


eddie headshotEddie Carrillo is from San Diego, California. He got his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC San Diego and is now pursuing the Master in Digital Marketing at IE HST. He’s a marathon runner, a writer, and spends a lot of time listening to music. Connect with him on Instagram, LinkedIn, or via email.