In Demand Soft Skills of 2020

When hiring managers assess candidates for fit, they focus on soft skills, behaviours and aptitudes that show them how well you’ll mesh with others at the company. Qualities such as being a good communicator or having a strong work ethic are obvious requirements and often what candidates aim to prove when interviewing for a job. But what other qualities are important to employers in 2020?

We did some digging (and asking) and here are the top 3 in-demand soft skills of the year:


Both LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum cited creativity in their findings of top qualities that employers seek in ideal candidates. This is something we hear a lot from our clients too: they want professionals who can contribute innovative ideas and are not afraid to think outside of the box. Creative employees often seek new ways of performing tasks, they are curious, open to learning, and help companies push the boundaries in a very competitive business landscape.

Recruiter Tip!
A good way to showcase your creativity in the finance and accounting industry is to describe a problem or challenge that you’ve solved creatively, using critical thinking and analysis to determine a new, more effective way of achieving the end result.


Well here you have it: teamwork was essential to workplaces 20 years ago and it continues to be important today. Teams can accomplish way more than any individual and so employers want to hire professionals who can effectively and respectfully collaborate with diverse types of people. Roles have become more specialized and according to a researcher at Kellog School of Management companies, to remain successful, are creating bigger working groups with more specializations and encouraging sharing of information within workplaces.

Recruiter Tip!
Show that you are a collaborator by describing a project that you worked on as part of a team. Highlight ways in which you learned from others, how you navigated differences of opinion, and what you find most enjoyable about collaborating with others.


A common challenge our clients experience with hiring finance and accounting professionals is rigidity in habits and expectations. 2020 has taught us that the business world is unpredictable and changes in methods, technology, and processes can happen on a dime. Which is why we chose adaptability as the third important soft skill of 2020. Employees who embrace change and are willing to get out of their comfort zone are more valuable to companies especially now that many organizations are pivoting in new directions to stay in business.

Recruiter Tip!
During an interview, describe how you have adapted to working differently under COVID19 restrictions and what new skills you have gained as a result. Outline any learning and professional development that you’ve engaged it to keep up with new trends.

With the rise of AI and automation of tasks, soft skills are more important than ever. In fact 92% of recruitment professionals and hiring managers polled by LinkedIn agree that strong soft skills are essential to the workplace and bad hires generally have poor soft skills.

For more information and tips on how to highlight your soft skills during an interview, contact one of our recruiters at

Smart Staffing Series: Identifying Your Candidate Marketplace

After evaluating the cost of a bad hire, PTC is proud to introduce a series of articles dedicated to helping you make “Smart Staffing” decisions. This first topic helps to identify your potential candidate market. In order to attract the candidates that are the best overall fit, from technical expertise to soft skills to likelihood of long-term commitment and success, you have to clarify who precisely you should be targeting with your recruitment efforts. Learn more about the practical steps to take for effectively identifying your candidate marketplace:

Get a Clear Picture of Current Candidate-to-Job Ratio

You have to truly understand the current state of the demand you’re dealing with to be able to form any strategic plan for your candidate marketplace. Do some research on the number of openings for similar jobs from your competitors and current data for any reported shortages or skills gaps to get a clear picture of the current candidate-to-job ratio. This can help you set clear expectations and know if you need to be more flexible on your “wish list” of desired qualifications.

Review Data for Top Performers

Find out what has historically been successful in terms of hiring by reviewing the data for your top performers. Are there certain qualifications, personality traits or other factors they have in common? Look for commonalities in your past success stories to narrow down the candidate marketplace on which you should focus.

Create Candidate Personas

If you want to identify your candidate marketplace, creating candidate personas can help you narrow down the ideal group so you can be proactive at recruitment and more systematic at making hiring decisions. A candidate persona is simply the compilation of demographics, work background, soft skills, personal characteristics and career goals of your ideal worker, fleshed out to make a fictional profile. Then, you can keep this persona in mind as you figure out where this type of candidate is most likely to be accessible (are they on social media or would more traditional channels be more effective?), and what would most appeal to them in a job (flexible schedule, room for advancement, shares in company stock, etc.).

If you need assistance identifying your candidate marketplace or finding the candidates that meet your criteria, partner with PTC’s team of recruiting experts. PTC Recruiting, a division of Bay Talent Group, focuses on staffing in the accounting, finance, and administrative industries. With nearly three decades of experience collaborating with top employers to meet their employment needs, you can feel confident in our expertise and dedication to understanding both your organization’s talent acquisition needs and how it aligns with the current job market trends. Contact PTC today to discover how we can help you with your finance, accounting, office administration, and HR hiring needs.