America Employed News Release

  • New Survey Results: Most Important Hard and Soft Skills

    March 09, 2016

    New Survey Results: Most Important Hard and Soft Skills

    Dependability Is Top Soft Skill For Third Year

    Hard Skills: Experience Matters More Than Education



    OKLAHOMA CITY, March 9, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released today new survey results revealing the most important hard and soft skills a job applicant should have.

    The findings come from a survey of 134 Express franchisees across the nation.

    Respondents were asked, "What are the five most important soft skills an applicant should have?"

    At the top of the list, for the third year in a row, was dependability/reliability at 72 percent, followed by motivation (48 percent), verbal communication (44 percent), teamwork (39 percent) and commitment (39 percent).

    Respondents were also asked, "What are the three most important hard skills an applicant should have?"

    Experience topped the list with 95 percent, followed by technical ability (67 percent) and training (60 percent).

    Full results are below.

    "While we've seen some fluctuation year to year in the skills ranking, it's clear that the best job applicant is one who can show experience and demonstrate dependability," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "After all, if an employer can't depend on you, then nothing else matters.

    "On the hard skills side, it's always noteworthy to see that education doesn't make the top three. That's not to say education doesn't matter, but it is an important reminder that when looking for a job, an applicant should connect his or her education with the real-world skills and talents the specific employer needs."









    The survey of 134 Express Employment Professionals franchisees was conducted in July 2015. 


    About Robert A. Funk

    Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 760 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit .

    For More Information:

    Sheena Karami   
    Director of Corporate Communications and PR   
    Express Employment Professionals   
    (405) 840-5000