What do employers look for in the first place when they screen candidates? The typical answer would be their educational credentials, qualifications, experience and stuff like that. What about soft skills? Surprisingly, some resumes may not even include them, but believe it or not, these are the skills that should matter the most to hiring managers while they scour for the best talent out there. Similarly, they are vital for job seekers because they enhance the chances of landing their dream jobs. Let’s elaborate!
Soft Skills v/s Hard Skills: Which matters more?
Essentially, soft skills are the ones that make people capable of handling the interpersonal aspects of their jobs. These include attributes such as effective communication, problem-solving, time management, ability to work individually and with teams, determination, adaptability, and confidence. Further, the art of persuasion is another key skill that makes a person capable of handling the complexities of their jobs, from selling to the customers to convincing co-workers about their perspective.
Hard skills, on the other hand, are the teachable skills which can be defined and measured. Knowledge of a process or a software program, for example, is a hard skill.
Historically, soft skills have been underrated by employers and job seekers because the entire emphasis has always been on hard skills. However, the tables have turned now as it has been proved that soft skills are as important, perhaps more important, than hard skills. While the latter is crucial for building the career, the former contributes to bringing one’s performance to life. Simply speaking, soft skills actually enable people to implement their hard skills and leverage them to deliver maximum efficiency, performance, and output to the organisation.
Why do soft skills matter for job seekers?
Job seekers need to understand that hard skills can be taught and learned while soft skills are the ones that people are born with. Better still, they can be cultivated in oneself with time. Those aspiring to make it big in the corporate landscape need to assess themselves and see where they lack in terms of these interpersonal skills. Beyond just increasing their knowledge and adding new degrees and technical skills to their profiles, students should focus on cultivating and polishing their soft skills as well. They make it easier for candidates to cinch the best opportunities and also adapt to the team and workplace environments. Plus, they make them capable of enhanced efficiency and top-notch performance, which improves the career growth prospects manifold.
Why do employers value soft skills?
When it comes to achieving success for businesses, technology alone is not enough. They also need the expertise that only humans can bring. And expertise is not confined to know-how, education, and experience. Rather, employers need to prioritise on boarding passionate people who are capable of managing themselves, understanding the company’s mission and vision and earnestly striving for a common goal. Soft skills make people valuable to the organisation as they can contribute to the growth and bring positivity in the workplace environment as a whole. Now is the time for the employers and recruiters to recognise the significance of soft skills while searching for new recruits with the objective of building a positive and productive workplace!
Undoubtedly, soft skills emerge as a strong factor for both job seekers and recruiters. While job seekers can use them to unlock their potential, employers who consider them as a selection parameter are saved from hiring the wrong candidates for their business.
Candidates should, therefore, aspire to offer a perfect mix of hard skills and soft skills while hiring managers should focus on acquiring such people for their teams.
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