You’re hiring a new member of your team, of your work family - you’re screening this candidate for a multitude of skills and qualifications, you’re looking for the right experience, maybe the ability to manage numbers, or for strong computer skills - hard skills, but what about soft skills? Finding those candidates with soft skills too is the way you should be hiring from here on out.
What Are Soft Skills?
So, what are soft skills and why should you be looking for them as an essential addition to your candidate’s skill set. New York Times writer, Daniel Goleman, describes “soft skills like discipline, drive and empathy” as the “mark of those who emerge as outstanding”.
Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, teamwork and communication, with all of the qualifications in the world, these skills are essential to successfully adapting to a workplace.
Many may downplay the importance of these skills, but as competition in so many industries is high and rising; these skills are one way that, as a recruiter, you may be able to set candidates apart and rationally make decisions. If you have, for example, two candidates with five years of experience in the tech industry, managerial experience and a passion for the job, the one with effective communication skills and an ability to manage their peers well is clearly your strongest candidate.
Why are these skills so important?
Connections and interpersonal skills have changed, we are more connected than ever through social media, email, instant messaging and so much more. The ability to effectively communicate with those one works with across all of these platforms, not only in the office and face to face, is essential.
These skills can help employees overcome issues such as disagreements in the workplace. For example, if those colleagues who don’t agree but need to present together possess the soft skills to compromise and overcome differences, this will make both colleagues much more successful in completing their task.
As workplaces continue to become more and more diverse, the ability to be cooperative, to compromise, communicate and work as a team are increasingly desirable traits for employers and recruitment professionals to find.
A Few More Soft Skills You Might Want To Look Out For:
Being A Team Player Knowing how to function as part of a team and not just how to fly solo is a powerful tool. Those who can work as a team, towards a collective goal are people who recruiters should be looking for.
Seeing Criticism As Constructive Being able to see criticism and the passing comments of others as constrictive and something to work on, not as a negative can be a huge benefit to the growth of the candidate and the company.
The Ability To Listen Find a candidate who has the ability to listen to others, to take on the opinions and ideas of colleagues. It’s easy to find candidates who are eager to share their own ideas and succeed in showing off their own skills, even at the cost of the company. However, finding a candidate who is willing to put the company first is a thing to be desired.
A Strong Work Ethic Hard work, dedication and loyalty are cornerstones of a strong work ethic, and if you can find and recruit candidates who hold these qualities, you’ll have gained yourself a hardworking personality.
Try turning your attention to the soft skills on offer to you in the candidate search, not only the hard skills and see the benefit that you or your clients can gain.