To recruit a workforce that has the right blend of skills, business owners should look for several aspects besides the candidates’ technical skills. These aspects, known by the umbrella term ‘soft skills’ are treasured as they are a reflection of the candidates’ personality and attitude.
This article talks about the key soft skills employers should consider before hiring.
Soft skills are personal skills that make an individual a great employee barring the technical skills needed for a job. They are intangible and difficult to quantify. These non-technical skills provide cues about how a person would work as they reflect aspects like the ability to accept feedback, maintain organization, solve problems, and collaborate with others.
Several experts are of the view that soft skills serve as the deciding factor when employers have difficulty in choosing one among two seemingly equal candidates. As per LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, 92% of talent acquisition professionals stated that soft skills are equally or more important to hire for, than hard skills. Also, 89% expressed that when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s because they lack critical soft skills. A recent Forbes article on the significance of soft skills remarks that “as the workplace increasingly automates, soft skills are what make the human contribution so irreplaceably unique”.
Research has found that a soft skill has the following three characteristics:
1. Communication: Verbal and written forms of communication are of prime importance in the workplace as they improve the chances of employees building relationships with their co-workers. Also, employee productivity is bound to increase when they know how to properly communicate with their peers.
2. Teamwork: The success of an organization depends on the collaboration between its people who work towards a common goal. Great team players help build a friendly work culture. As per a Gallup poll, having friends at work can also boost job satisfaction.
3. Creativity: Creativity is a must-have trait irrespective of the position candidates apply for. Several employers believe that creative people not only think outside the box but also think big picture. Creative thinkers are often more open-minded and receptive to different ideas.
4. Adaptability: Every business, regardless of the industry it belongs to, will have to be prepared to face uncertain situations since things always don’t go as planned. This demands the ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.
5. Leadership: Employers and managers, many a time look for employees with leadership potential for they can delegate these workers some of their duties in their absence. And, eventually, they can be promoted to positions that require responsible employees who can lead others.
6. Problem Solving: Individuals who are great problem solvers approach problems from a different angle when unexpected challenges arise. Industry experts consider the best problem-solvers to see and strategize how to mitigate the problems that aren’t even evident yet.
7. Conflict Resolution: Conflicts between and among teams are a part and parcel of any organization. The ability to resolve issues with co-workers and maintain healthy relationships with peers will help employees to work more effectively.
8. Time Management: Whether it is in-office work or remote work, the ability to be productive and complete the assigned tasks efficiently on time is one quality employers should seek in potential employees.
9. Active Listening: Active listening is one of the major traits of a good communicator. An active listener is more likely to have qualities such as respectfulness and empathy as they better understand the other person’s perspectives and requirements during a conversation.
10. Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence, which became a buzz phrase lately, is used to refer to an individual’s ability to manage their own emotions and notice the emotions of others. This ability is often considered desirable in work environments that are high stress, have tight deadlines or where people are constantly moved from team to team for different projects.
Your employees should possess soft skills in addition to the technical skills required for their respective domains and positions. Business owners should value these skills as much as they value domain knowledge or technical expertise. By hiring candidates who have the above-mentioned soft skills, we’re sure you will not only have a better workforce but also foster a better work culture.