Teamwork tops most sought-after skills

Teamwork makes the dream work! A true statement it seems as teamwork takes the top spot of the skills employers look for. Communication comes in a close second, with problem-solving, work ethic and motivation not far behind. So, when applying for that dream job or prepping for that skills-based interview, consider the following tips.

Our research for the 2023 Salary Guide shows 32% of employers chose teamwork as the skill that is most important to them, this isn’t surprising as someone who can collaborate successfully within a team is integral to the wider success of the company.

Knowing your strengths and your weaknesses, as well as those of your team members means the team is better prepared to distribute duties among its workers or effectively pick a leader. Since all members are competent and respected in their areas, the outcome is efficient and more accurate, usually saving time and money (which is always prized in any industry).

Challenges are common in every workplace, but any stressful situation can be overcome when team members confront it together, using their specific expertise to figure out a solution. There are plenty of ways to show off your teamwork skills, including:

  • Actively listening to your colleagues
  • Taking any concerns or ideas on board
  • Creating a positive and supportive environment
  • Taking instruction from team leaders

If you find yourself in an interview and get mind blank when asked the question ‘Give me an example of when you’ve worked well in a team?’, don’t panic! If you can give any examples where you have worked on a project with other colleagues, perhaps delegated tasks, provided feedback, or used your unique expertise to achieve the desired outcomes – these are all great examples of teamwork in action.

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Communication is key

The second most important skill for employers is communication. It has been proven that effective communication makes you a more productive worker and cuts down on issues that arise because of potential miscommunication.

Developing an efficient communication manner helps you articulate yourself, understand what your colleagues are saying or what they are looking for, and make you a better collaborator and team member.

If you would like to improve your communication skills, whether in person or over email, or through instant messaging channels think before you speak. Is what you’re saying or asking clear, and does it make sense? Re-read emails before you hit send, and importantly in the fast-working environment, we experience today – be brief but specific.

An essential skill for senior or manager-level roles is problem-solving, and 28% of employers agree that it is one of the top skills a senior-level candidate should possess.

Those with good problem-solving skills are a valuable and trusted asset in any team, this skill separates the senior from junior members of the organisation – these are the people who think of new ideas, they’re often strategy-minded, think of better ways of doing things, make it easier for people to understand things or offer support in difficult situations.

To demonstrate your problem-solving skills, think of a time when you’ve offered a positive solution to a problem, this could be for a customer or potentially within the workplace. To develop your problem-solving skills, it comes back to simplicity, take a step back, dissect the problem and look for opportunities or brainstorm ideas to solve it. There’s no right way.

Work ethic and motivation go hand in hand

The final two skills that employers most look for when hiring candidates are motivation and work ethic. As well as implying you care about the organisation and what it achieves, it supports and fosters a productive working culture.

Employees with a strong work ethic are highly driven and often lead by example, which in turn, motivates others to work hard. Receiving glowing testimonials from peers, or even better, managers about your work ethic and motivation are one way of demonstrating these skills effectively and honestly. You can ask them to do this by email or by asking them to submit a recommendation on LinkedIn.


At Robert Half the choice is yours, we’ve got you covered – whether you need to find top talent, your next great job opportunity, or a consulting solution for managing your business – our recruitment experts can help. Get in touch today with a Robert Half branch near you.