MRC partners with hiring managers (and companies) to help them build high-functioning, collaborative, and agile teams. Every position they aim to fill has a long list of required skills, and right now, it seems job-seekers hold all the cards. Every industry decries the difficulty in finding talent, and 2022 may well be remembered as the Year of the Employee.  

It can be like finding a needle in the haystack when you have a difficult-to-fill position, with education, certifications, and a litany of other must-haves. One thing we should never overlook, though, is an applicant’s soft skills.

They may not replace hard-fought technical knowledge but can go a very long way in building a high-functioning team while the more technical skills are learned along the way.

Here are five soft skills that may not be highlighted on resumes, but your company needs.


We’re all guilty of this on occasion. We listen at the beginning of a conversation, and much like predictive text, our brains automatically jump to finding the appropriate response. The problem with that, much like Google’s analytics, is that we can’t always accurately envision what the other person will say. If we aren’t listening to hear but merely to respond, we may miss social cues that help describe the actual story the other person is trying to convey. We all want responsive employees, but ones that listen to everything and then respond thoughtfully are key.


We also all want employees with positive attitudes, but what does that really mean? In the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, there’s a mantra that agents should ABC, Always Be Closing. For them, it meant keeping their eye on the prize and continuing to build, execute and complete each transaction. While in that film it was meant in a cutthroat fashion, in our resource industry, it can translate into being a team player who’s open to feedback.


This is sometimes a tough one to wrap our heads around, especially for many technical, engineering-minded people. Emotional intelligence is one’s ability to be in touch enough with his/her own emotions, and those of those around them, that they have empathy for others and curiosity for alternate solutions that aren’t readily apparent. Employees with a high degree of emotional intelligence are cool under pressure and handle awkward situations with grace.


It’s no secret that a great leader can form a cohesive team, lead a project to fruition and ultimately impact the bottom line. The hard part is finding not just someone to lead, but lead in that intangible way that makes others desire to follow. It’s also a difficult quality to suss out from a resume or an interview. Lots of people can talk about how they’ve led the in the past, but it’s hard to know how successful they were at it. This is where MRC’s commitment to longstanding relationships with employees, and our Advisory Board, is key. We know who in the industry has built exemplary team, and we have firsthand knowledge of their leadership talents.  


So you think you’ve found a great applicant. They lead with emotional intelligence, they actively listen, and they have a positive, team-oriented focus. These traits alone may outweigh a few technical skills they may not have, but absolutely every employee you hire must be skilled at conflict resolution. We all want employees who face conflicts head on, not allowing them to fester, and resolve disagreements before they grow. Like leadership, this is a tough one to read on a resume or decipher in a first interview. But ask. Ask in the interviews what types of conflicts the applicant has resolved in past. Ask how they did it. Ask what they learned from the experience. You’ll get a more genuine feeling about their skills in this realm.

Finding good employees is more than figuring out what they can do. It’s largely about finding out HOW they can do it that builds long term, growth-oriented teams.  

If you’re looking to make a career change, MRC can help connect with us or submit your resume.

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