5 Common Professional Qualities Businesses Look for in Top Talent

The world of work has shifted dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

Jobs have changed. The places in which work is performed have changed. Entire industries have been invented – and many have been transformed.

All of this disruption has forever altered employers’ hiring strategies. Instead of merely refilling vacant roles as business picks back up, companies are reshaping their workforces – and redefining the “rules for success” in the modern workplace.

If you’re looking for a job in 2022, what does it take to capture a hiring manager’s attention and prove that you’ll succeed on the job? Across roles and industries, here are 5 common professional qualities today’s employers are looking for:

Top Professional Qualities for 2022

Passion for Learning

As the rate of change continues to accelerate in the workplace, hard skills become obsolete even more rapidly. One recent survey showed that the pace at which some professional skills become out of date has increased by more than 70 percent. To remain successful in any job, you must be a lifelong learner. On your resume and in the interview, highlight ways you stay up to date in your field.


Since March of 2020, being able to “roll with the punches” has gone from a nice-to-have quality to essential. Employers want candidates who can thrive in a hybrid environment, adapt the way they work, and wholeheartedly embrace change. Before you head into an interview, prepare to share examples of your flexible thinking and versatility.

Problem Solving

Whether you work in an administrative, manufacturing, HR, accounting, IT, or production role, you know that things go wrong at work. Employers don’t want finger-pointers or complainers; they need individuals who can remain calm, determine the root cause of an issue, brainstorm potential solutions, and effectively execute them. If you want to impress a potential employer, showcase examples of your critical thinking, reasoning, and successful problem-solving skills.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is loosely defined as a combination of self-awareness and awareness of others. It’s what helps you identify and manage your emotions, while also recognizing emotions in others and adjusting your approach accordingly. Whether you work remotely or on-site, independently or as part of a large team, the ability to connect and empathize with others will serve you well. As you embark on your job search, be prepared to share examples of your ability to understand your own and others’ emotions in the workplace.


Succeeding in any job requires you to be proactive and self-sufficient. A potential employer will want to know if you’re able to do a job well without being micromanaged – especially if you’ll be working independently or virtually. In the interview, share an anecdote that demonstrates how you took the initiative to find an answer to a question or gathered resources to solve a problem or complete a task.

Want to learn more about the essential professional qualities for success in today’s workplace?

Check out this earlier post: 6 Soft Skills That Employers Want in the New Year

Start your 2022 job search here. 

PrideStaff makes it simple to find a job you love. Our recruiters can help you inventory your professional qualities, prepare to shine in your interview, and present opportunities that are a great fit. Contact your local PrideStaff office to get started.