3 Essential Soft Skills to Look For in Your STEM Candidates


When recruiting STEM candidates, naturally, your hiring team focuses on vetting their technical, scientific, and math skills. At the same time, you also need to explore any soft skills when perusing résumés and during the interview. Abilities like communication, adaptability, and problem solving ultimately play a critical role in the success of any business.

With the goal of making the right hiring decision between candidates, here are some essential soft skills that matter. Use these insights to inform every step of your company’s staffing process. In the end, expect to hire someone that makes an excellent fit within your organization.

Find Candidates With Exceptional Verbal and Written Communication Skills

Communication – both verbal and written – might be the most important soft skill for anyone working in science and technology. STEM employees need strong writing chops for authoring specifications documents or even crafting professional emails. Verbal communication becomes important when interacting with both clients and coworkers.

STEM professionals also need to be able to explain complex topics so everyone is able to understand them. Additionally, in a tech world where collaboration remains important – look at Agile and DevOps – communication becomes paramount. Be sure to vet the writing quality of a candidate’s résumé and cover letter. Also, pay close attention to their speaking ability when under the pressure of an interview.

Your Company Needs Creative STEM Professionals

A STEM professional with creativity makes for an excellent employee at any business. Being creative helps inspire new solutions for difficult problems. In fact, it also informs another soft skill: problem-solving. Both skills help an employee thrive in an increasingly tech-driven business world.

Be sure to peruse a candidate’s work history for evidence of their creativity and problem-solving skills. Consider testing these capabilities by having them solve an example problem during an interview. These kinds of questions are also useful for vetting their speaking ability, as noted earlier.

Adaptable STEM Employees are Essential in the Modern Business World

Adaptability remains another important soft skill to find in your STEM candidates. Change is the one constant in a modern business world driven by technology. Being able to quickly learn a new tech tool or change job roles is vital for today’s professionals. Again, explore this topic when interviewing your company’s top candidates.


Struggling to find top STEM talent?

If your organization needs help building a great team, connect with Transcend Solutions. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in the Pacific Northwest, we provide the candidates to help your business thrive. Schedule a time to discuss your current and future staffing plans.

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