• Willingness to Learn, Dependability and Problem-Solving Most Desired Soft Skills by Employers

    Kitchener, Ontario - November 16, 2022
    Canadians looking for a job should not discount just how important strong soft skills are to employers, according to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

    Forty percent of companies report having open positions they cannot fill-with almost one-third (30%) saying it is because of an inability to find candidates with the right soft skills.

    Among the top soft skills hiring managers deem important for job applicants are a willingness to learn (85%), dependability (84%), problem-solving (78%) and adaptability (78%). Communications (77%), initiative (76%), critical thinking (73%) and fitting in with the company culture (72%) are also highly rated skills for employers. 

    When it comes to finding someone with the right hard skills, most employers (70%) say they would rather re-skill (or upskill) an existing employee who has the right soft skills instead of hiring someone new.

    "The simplest assessment of current and future employees is to look at "skill" and "will". Employers can train the skill, but it is harder to influence the will. Those candidates that have strong will almost always demonstrate reliability, by showing up every day and eagerly fulfilling their job duties," said Michael Elliott, franchise owner of the Kitchener/Waterloo and London Express offices. "Since it is really tricky to train or up-skill soft skills, companies are more apt to influence soft-skills by creating a strong environment of learning and development. A more positive and supportive work environment will ultimately lead to a better engaged work force. Culture and learning and development are so interwoven, but critical for keeping good employees." 

    While the way we work may have changed drastically over the past few years, the makeup of quality employees is still paramount, Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. 

    "Employees should take pride in their work and the soft skills expected of them create a more collaborative work environment for all and can translate into other areas of life," he added. "No matter the company structure, dependability, communications skills and willingness to learn are timeless attributes."

    Survey Methodology
    The survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between May 3-23, 2022, among 504 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
    About Express Employment Professionals 
    At Express Employment Professionals, we're in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 586,000 people globally in 2021 and 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com/CA. 
    The Kitchener/Waterloo Express office is located in the Frederick Mall and serves the Kitchener/Waterloo and surrounding communities. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit expresspros.com/kitchener or call (519) 578-9030. 
    About Bill Stoller 
    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment  
    International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor 
    supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.