5 Soft Skills to Look for in Every Candidate 

When hiring sales and marketing professionals in the agriculture industry, a candidate’s experience matters. However, if you rely solely on experience, you could end up making the wrong hiring choice. Without soft skills, even the most qualified people won’t succeed on your team. While every job will have unique soft skill requirements, there are universal qualities that apply to most jobs.

Here are five soft skills to look for in every candidate.  

Communication Skills  

Sales and marketing professionals must be able to communicate clearly with prospects and customers, but they must also be able to communicate well with members of their team. Study candidate emails and cover letters to get a feel for writing abilities and pay close attention to the way candidates speak during interviews. Listening is an important part of communication, so take note of a candidate’s listening skills throughout the interview, as well.  

A Positive Outlook  

Positive people keep pushing through when pressure is on. They keep their eye on the proverbial ball, they don’t take setbacks personally and they know how to find the silver lining in stressful situations. A positive attitude isn’t just good for the person who has it – it can spread to others who may be struggling with stress. Identify candidates who have a positive outlook during their interview and ask them how they maintain a good outlook when their job has them stressed.  


Accountability is an extremely important soft skill because it shows reliability. Accountable people do what they say and if they can’t hit the mark, they let their coworkers know well in advance. They accept responsibility for their errors, but they also look for ways to improve so they do not repeat mistakes. Ask candidates about times when they missed a deadline or made a critical mistake. What did they do about it? How was it resolved?  

Time Management  

Time management is critical for any sales or marketing professional. They are under constant pressure to hit time-sensitive goals, which means they must know how to prioritize work, optimize their schedules and manage their time effectively. Talk to candidates about how they navigate their day. How do they prioritize and schedule tasks? What do they do when they get behind?  

Patience and Empathy 

Sales and marketing professionals aren’t under the same amount of stress as a surgeon, but they are under stress. They have goals to hit and deadlines to make and it is important to hire people who are patient and empathetic with coworkers who are having a rough time and who are diplomatic when they, themselves are having a rough go. It’s easy to be harsh or even rude under stress, which is why it’s so important to hire people who can handle stress in a healthy manner.  Ask candidates to describe times when a coworker or boss tested their patience or when they had trouble dealing with a coworker diplomatically. How did they handle it? What was the outcome?  

Are You Hiring Sales and Marketing Professionals for Your Ag Business?  

If you are looking for top sales and marketing talent for your ag business, contact the expert recruiters at Morris Bixby today. Our process is streamlined, accurate and efficient to ensure you have access to the skilled, well-matched people you need when you need them. 



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