Why Soft Skills Are So Important In Recruiting

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Soft Skills are Just as Important as Hard Skills

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

  • Communication

    The ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers is critical. Good communicators have qualities such as clarity, confidence, empathy, tact, and active listening.

  • Emotional Intelligence

    It is extremely difficult to ignore the importance of emotional intelligence when hiring candidates. People with high EQ are natural leaders in the workplace. They tend to be team players who work well together, are empathetic, and are skilled at resolving conflicts and forming positive working relationships.

  • Critical Thinking

    For introducing new ideas, services, and products, a workforce of creative and critical thinkers is essential. The ability to question assumptions and find innovative solutions should be something you look for in any candidate. 

  • Team Player

    Being a team player involves being open to new ideas and feedback, being able to respect and value different points of view, and being at ease working in a group. Effective teamwork and collaboration with fellow workers is a crucial skill.

  • Growth Mindset

    Employees who have a growth mindset are proactive and self-motivated. They understand the importance of keeping their skills up to date in order to meet new challenges, and they are self-aware enough to constantly work on improving skills and eliminating weaknesses.

  • Time Management

    Employees who can effectively manage their time are more productive and efficient.This is a valuable soft skill, especially now that the many employees at least some time working from home. Team members with good time management skills can better plan and manage their daily schedules while also meeting deadlines.

  • Adaptability

    In the modern workplace, it's more important than ever to hire for adaptability and resilience. You'll need people who can switch gears and take on different responsibilities as needed, adapt their behaviours to the requirements of their team, manage uncertainty, and look for the positive when things go wrong.

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.

To Conclude

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.

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