There’s no question that America is hard at work.

The Labor Department reported a steady 201,000 jobs in August, an 8-year streak of monthly gains. Unemployment is holding at a low 3.9%, and payroll is continuing to inch up. This can be perceived as great news and a strong economy, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.

Because of a tight labor market, employers often re-examine what skills matter most. Many will focus on role objectives, technical ability or degree requirements. However, according to an April 2018 Linkedin Study, the biggest skill gap isn’t cloud computing, AI implementation, or tactile hands-on labor.

The number one skill we’re missing in America’s Workforce? Communication.

The study’s data shows that the United States is short nearly 1.4 million professionals with soft skills like communication. It’s fair to say that in whatever position or industry you’re a part of, soft skills are vital for long-term success. Think of skills like collaboration, communication and willingness to learn; key components for an individual joining a new company, integrating into a new team, or leading a company forward.

The soft skills hunt is an evolution within talent acquisition and on-boarding and development.  Human resource professionals are adjusting strategies to make a calculated hire: someone with appropriate soft skills, while being able to learn the technical skills through on-boarding and internal training programs. The question is, how do we know that these soft skills are hard-wired? How do we know this person will be successful?

Our Devine assessments are tools to help employers hire smarter, develop their talent and drive results by connecting individual competencies to company performance. Whatever your specific skill set requirements, cultural considerations and expectations for long-term growth, using a pre-employment assessment can help simplify the complex and time-consuming process.

There is no silver bullet… however hiring individuals with desires to be successful and achieve professional goals, while working successfully with others is a strategic goal for all businesses. Focusing in on soft skill requirements will elevate your success in having the right people in the right seats.