Looking for your soft skills?

In a recent study conducted among more than 700 SMEs in Flanders, researchers concluded that soft skills are more decisive in a recruitment than, for example, age, the right diploma or experience.

In a nutshell, the study revealed the following:

  • Attitude and motivation are decisive in recruitment for nine out of ten SMEs
  • The right diploma is the deciding factor for less than one third of employers
  • The age of the applicant (+50) is no objection at all to hiring someone

Your attitude, motivation and the match with the prevailing company culture, your knowledge of the national language and finally being willing to work flexibly are decisive.

This was also true in 2015, only flexible working is a newcomer. If the employer has to make concessions to find a good candidate, he will consider concessions in terms of flexible working hours and mutual flexibility that accommodate the combination of work and family.


What do we understand by soft skills?

A survey by the American site Careerbuilder (2016) among more than 2,000 HR managers revealed the 10 most important soft skills as follows: strong work ethic, reliable actions, positive attitude, motivated, team player, well-organized, stress resistant, communicative, flexible and finally self-confident.

Quite a mouthful so it seems and perhaps rather discouraging to have and maintain all these skills at a high level.

The good news? You can work with them for life. It can never be the intention to develop all 10 at the same time. For example, some develop work ethic, strong organizational skills and stress resistance depending on the work experience.

The 2 most important soft skills of the future

Flexibility and self-confidence are two extremely important soft-skills for the future, especially in the disruptive times we currently find ourselves in.


A few small tips to train yourself in flexibility. Not only will it benefit you in your search for a new challenge, it will make your life more exciting and stimulate creative thinking.

  • Choose a different route when you go to work and broaden your view
  • Don't buy anything you normally buy for a week
  • Limit your spending for a week or a month to half of what you're used to
  • Learn to read faster with a speed read course

The beauty of these experiments is that they also give you energy, save time in the long run and, on top of that, provide conversation material to illustrate your flexibility in thinking and acting during a job interview.


Self-confidence - so much has been said and written about it - you can't improve this in one day, for many people this is a life's work. But it is mainly the little things that make a real difference. Prepare well for any assignment, practice in front of a mirror or an audience, keep up with current events or sports news and take care not only of your mind but also your body.

These are small things that contribute to greater self-confidence.
Or as Peggy Klaus once said, "Soft skills get little respect but will make or break your career."

Have fun developing your soft skills.


Elle Fleurackers

Proactive & passionate MarCom Manager with a broad range of interests.