SEEKING SOFT SKILLSUnicorn Admin
When looking to fill a role, it can seem like the most obvious move to hire the candidate with the most experience and qualifications behind them. While those hard skills and experience are most definitely a requirement within a role, it is crucial to seek out soft skills when hiring in order to build a stronger, more efficient team.
What are hard and soft skills?
Hard skills are the measurable, tangible proficiencies. They are the skills that are learnt and adapted over time and come with a level of qualification to back them up. Skills such as maths, reading comprehension, languages, computer skills, etc. While these are, of course, important within any role, they will not determine whether a candidate will be a good employee.
Soft skills, however, are the personality traits and characteristics that are not necessarily qualifiable but are required in order for a work environment to be successful. These are skills that are more rooted in behaviour, attitude and values, rather than expertise.
Hard skills will have a large impact on the level of work that is produced, it is no good hiring someone to fulfil a role they have no knowledge for. But soft skills are vital to develop the human connections required within a work team. It is these soft skills that create a positive working environment, and a sense of culture and community within the workplace, which, in turn, will have a positive impact on the work produced by the team.
What Soft Skills Should You Seek in an Employee?
While hard skills have for many years been deemed the more professional level skills, soft skills are becoming more than just CV fillers. These are being sought out more than ever before, and are beginning to gain more favour over hard skills within the hiring procedure in order to develop a team that will have the most success.
Here are some of the soft skills we think you should be deliberately looking for within your recruitment:
Communication. Good communication skills will create a welcoming environment and a team that are able to produce clear and focused work. Without this skill, a team will simply not be able to function efficiently and as a result, the work produced will be poor. You need your team to be in tune with each other. This is even more vital now, as with the increase in remote working since the pandemic, you may find your team scattered between homes and the office.
Team Work. Being able to collaborate and work successfully with other team members is a vital trait to look for in any hire. Someone who is able to put their own interests aside and work with others toward a collective goal will be a valuable addition to your team. You need to be sure your staff have a mutual respect for each other’s ideas, opinions, responsibilities and work.
Adaptability. The ability to adapt to situations and challenges is a valuable trait – expecting the unexpected, being ready to adjust and having the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Whether it’s adjusting to new software, systems, procedures or tasks, an ability to adapt with ease will cause the least disruption to the team.
Creativity. Creative thinking drives innovation and progress. A team with creative minds will be well equipped to grow and develop the business. Being able to think outside the box and come up with strategies, solutions and new concepts will make any candidate a valuable addition.
Problem Solvers. This links closely to creativity. A problem solver will have the ability to break down the issue and take logical steps to find the solution. Curating a team with people who are able to think this way will inspire confidence in the workplace, knowing you are ready to tackle any obstacles that may arise.
In essence, soft skills are essential for personal success, success in the workplace, and company success.