It’s no secret that technical skills are in red-hot demand at the moment, but many employers should be looking at soft skills just as closely. In a time where it’s difficult to find technical skills, you may find that ticking every box is a tough ask. In such an environment, the need to hire for soft skills becomes more important than ever.
While specialised knowledge and hard skills are important for a productive, qualified workforce, soft skills will determine how your employees handle problems, communicate with co-workers and clients, and respond to various business situations. Someone that might not have the absolute skillset that you’re looking for will often be able to do just as good a job if they can proactively ask for help and use their own problem solving ability to achieve the desired outcome. There type of soft skills are invaluable to an organisation.
As these skills are innate and typically difficult to teach, hiring for soft skills can often be better than relying on hard skills alone. In fact, LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report found that 89% of bad hires were lacking critical soft skills.
If you’re having trouble distinguishing between top candidates with similar hard skill sets, soft skills are often the deciding factor.
This article covers why soft skills are just as important as hard skills, and highlights which to look for in candidates.
What Are Soft Skills and Hard Skills?
Hard skills are job-specific, measurable skills that a person has learned. This could include accounting, programming, creative writing or something else that is acquired through education and honed as they gain more experience. These technical abilities will depend on the job; an accountant will need different hard skills than a software developer.
Soft skills are intangible, and often difficult to measure as a result. They include people skills, self-management skills, emotional intelligence, and other innate personality traits. Because these skills are not easily taught or learnt they are very valuable, though elusive, to find in a candidate.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
The success of your organisation, and the team, does not solely depend on the technical skills of the workers. The way in which they work together and interact with clients is just as important, and this comes down to soft skills.
Soft skills complement hard skills, allowing your team members to work both efficiently and effectively together.
Key Soft Skills to Look For
While assessing a candidate’s soft skills is important, it can often be difficult. The problem is that, while you can quickly evaluate a candidate’s hard skills by putting them through an objective test, judging things like communication, adaptability, and time management is another story.
This is where an expert recruiter can help you out. Experienced in sourcing candidates and evaluating both hard and soft skills, these professionals can bring you the perfect fit for any role. Take all the hard work by teaming up with a recruiter, while reducing time-to-hire and employee turnover.
When assessing candidates, looking at soft skills can be just as important as hard skills, if not more so. This article has gone over why soft skills are so important, and listed some of the key ones to look for during the recruitment process.