From blogs to publications, the sudden awareness and conversation surrounding hard versus soft skills might seem new. However, employers have always been searching for this duality, with 77% of Human Resource professionals believing soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Let’s start by defining what is the exact difference.
Hard skills are easy to score or quantify. They can mean proficiency in a specific computer programming language, a degree, or accounting proficiency. They can often get a candidate noticed by a recruiter, but an interview’s likelihood of success ties directly to the candidate’s soft skills. Teamwork, communication, self and time management skills all fall under soft skills. They cannot be measured or graded, and vary by person. These tend to change and mold over time, and become specific to company culture.
Excellent communication skills yield numerous benefits. Professionals with highly developed emotional intelligence are able to work seamlessly with every other department to ensure that employees are properly trained, satisfied, and compensated. Team members can only use your innovative ideas if you can effectively share them with others. This requires the ability to explain, promote, and implement.
In order for a team to reach its maximum productivity, each of its members must have the necessary soft skills to speak tactfully, share duties fairly, hold each other accountable, and relate ideas effectively. If any of these ingredients are missing, or team members do not have complementing soft skills, the team simply will not function. While hard skills might be the foundation of each individual’s efforts, they cannot create the necessary team dynamic. According to Business Insider, “Civility, courtesy and genuine caring are traits bosses often valued highly because they lead to a more harmonious, productive team".
WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
When hiring a new employee, the effectiveness and availability of training must be taken into consideration. While some organizations have enacted programs for leadership, collaboration, and communication, they are generally not as effective as technical training. When viewing a candidate, the employer must think ahead and actively forecast where he or she will be after all training is said and done.
What are necessary soft skills for your team?