A few decades ago, you would probably be laughed at by your fellow recruiters if you told them that you were on the hiring market for candidates who are critical thinkers rather than those with technical skills. It's a good thing that a lot of things have changed since then and organizations nowadays are also looking into candidates who have an array of soft skills to diversify their workforce. This brings up the age-old debate over the significance of soft skills since most of the time, we only look at the credentials, education, and training on the resumes of our applicants. Even if recruiters don’t admit it, most of us—especially those who have been in the industry for a while now, would fawn over a resume that has a long list of hard skills perfectly suited to what the company needs. But the thing is, even if a candidate has all the desirable competencies of a perfect employee on paper, those will be the only things working in their favor. Let’s take an accountant, for example—the ideal accountant would be an accountant who knows how to produce financial statements that align with standard practices and procedures of accounting. This is an important hard skill that only comes when one has been given a comprehensive education or training on the financial reporting standards and the basics of accounting law. But even if they are the best at following textbook rules, they still wouldn’t be able to do it without strong critical thinking, patience, and problem-solving skills that would allow them to easily and efficiently check for errors and oversights in their reports. Soft skills are called transferable skills because some are extremely useful in certain occupations but not so much in other roles. Compared to hard skills that are usually taught and developed through some sort of education or training, people would develop soft skills over time through professional and personal experience. Some individuals would also have a natural or unique affinity to certain soft skills because that’s just how their personality plays out in social situations. Some valuable soft skills in the workplace include but are not limited to: Communication Leadership Teamwork Problem-solving Time management Critical thinking Decision-making Let’s dive into some of the reasons why present organizations are hiring for soft skills more than ever.
Soft skills set the pace for your team Interpersonal skills play a significant role in all job levels, but they are most frequently present from supervisory up to top-level management. They enable managers to connect better with their teams, providing them with vital information on what works and what doesn't work for them. Soft skills allow managers to provide direction to their workforce, so they can easily clear a path that would help their team move from point A to point B without a problem. Just make sure to move at the right tempo so no one falls out of tune. Soft skills boost employee wellbeing Productivity and engagement are incredibly hard to maintain in the workplace, that's why organizations are shifting their focus toward recruiting employees who are natural communicators to help improve team morale. The importance of active communication cannot be emphasized enough. Businesses must understand that communicating goes beyond listening and speaking. Soft skills help you show that you care. In initiating conversations, even a simple "Hello!" or "How are you?", can go a long way in ensuring that your team stays happy and helps transform your workplace into a better and much healthier one. Soft skills work across multiple industries Having soft skills greatly increases employability across different job sectors. Even if a candidate isn't exactly the perfect match, they remain highly valued and a great asset as long as they have transferable soft skills to back up their resume. Transferable skills already have merits on their own, but being able to bring your personality traits to a new job is taking it to a whole new level. It doesn't only promote the mindset of going beyond the job description but it also encourages employees to grow and succeed in new ways. Soft skills improve customer service Being an empathetic communicator is much harder than learning how to fix a computer. This is true because some soft skills are indeed more difficult to master. In some customer service roles, you'll be asked to provide technical assistance to your customers, but you won't be able to successfully help them if you can't communicate effectively.
Sure, there are books about active listening or managing body language, but those skills still need to be constantly practiced before you get remotely good at interacting with your customers. That's why most companies prioritize soft skills more, even if they're heavily tech-based.
Soft skills are the core of a positive company culture Having a team that has a wide array of technical skills is a great asset. But trust us when we say that soft skills are what’s going to make your team thrive. Employees, no matter how technically skilled they are, still need to learn how to collaborate, trust, and respect each other. Great managers and industry leaders know and understand that a positive company culture is built on effective communication and good leadership. It can be incredibly daunting at first but makes the outcome even more worthwhile. Which is more important? All jobs require a good mix of both hard skills and soft skills. Certain professions require you to possess the required competencies to perform your job efficiently. Soft skills, on the other hand, are traits that help you gain a competitive advantage throughout your career. Consider hard skills as the foundation and materials needed for a house, and soft skills are furniture and other things that you need to make it a home. They complement each other, enabling you to be the best version of yourself inside and outside of work. Take your recruitment to another level with UpStaff The search for candidates with exceptional soft skills is as high as ever. You, too, could bring your A-game in recruitment with UpStaff Remote. UpStaff is a global offshore accounting firm that provides offshore staffing solutions to companies looking for an alternative staffing setup. Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start making your dream team a reality.