Hard skills are a measure of an employee’s expertise and experience in a particular area. On the other hand, soft skills are an indication of their ability to work within a team and give their best for the growth of the company as well as their own. Another way to look at it is that soft skills allow employees to not only become problem solvers but also relationship builders within a team – things that can help them put their hard skills to optimal use. Candidates who list soft skills on their CV, demonstrate those in front of the interviewers, and further develop them during their time with a company, will always find finding newer opportunities easier than those who are not up to the mark when it comes to soft skills.
Hiring managers have their work cut out when they have two qualified candidates in front of them and they have to hire only one of them. What they can do to make their job easier is take soft skills as a key differentiator. This is the reason more and more hiring managers have started putting soft skills above hard skills. And it has also been found that hirings that don’t work out are often due to lack of communication skills.
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By prioritizing soft skills in the hiring process, hiring managers can help in diversifying the hiring pipeline of their respective organizations. Plus, they are not giving extra significance to qualification and other such things. What it also does is help in retaining employees, improving productivity, and delivering above par customer experiences.
Organizations that invest in training their employees in soft skills are rewarded with a significant increase in employee retention and workplace productivity. This investment promises a significant return in investment as well. Why wouldn’t it make the management happy?
Soft skills also play a major role in helping businesses deliver exceptional customer experiences. Almost all the customer service skills, such as empathy, listening, and communication amongst others are soft skills. Also, happy customers will always be inclined to shop more, and that means increased sales. No wonder, companies that are investing in customer experiences record higher revenues than those that aren’t really focused on customer experience.
Soft skills are also tougher to acquire than hard skills. The reason being, soft skills have more to do with your personality. Soft skills often require frequent introspection and learning. This is usually not the case with hard skills. They have to be taught and learned. They are more related to a person’s intelligence and willingness to acquire knowledge. So, hiring managers that focus on soft skills will find it easier to train candidates in hard skills later.
Here are a few tips that hiring managers can use to prioritize soft skills in the hiring process:
- Give job descriptions due importance
- Screen candidates to evaluate soft skills
- Create a proper interview structure
It is important for organizations to devise a strategic approach to ensure that recruitment is done keeping both hard and soft skills in mind, with a focus on the latter.
Reference: Hiring for Soft Skills: Benefits and Tips | Talent Culture | Jen Rifkin | August 18, 2021
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