Soft skills are a combination of skills and traits that people possess which allows them to interact or work well with others. It’s a pretty ambiguous term; everyone has a different interpretation on what these skills are and which ones they want to see in a candidate.
These skills are certainly valuable in outward facing roles where an employee connects with others outside of their organization. A person in a position such as a customer relationship manager or a salesperson must have some degree of soft skills in order to effectively do their job.
Generally, a variation of soft skills are ideal in most positions where communication is a large part of the job, especially management.
Many roles within industries like IT or engineering don’t need to focus as much on these skills as a lot of their work can be done independently.
Lacking soft skills does not need to be a deal-breaker in positions where success doesn’t rely heavily on communication.
Hard Skills are easier for a hiring manager to identify since they’re the teachable or measurable abilities. It’s a no-brainer to list if a candidate needs to be certified in a skill, knowledgeable about artificial intelligence, or familiar with a specific coding language for a role.
It’s much more difficult to pinpoint the soft skills needed for someone to harmoniously fit in with an organization. During intake, the recruiter needs to ask the hiring manager the right questions to reveal the necessary soft skills. The recruiter should then take this information and flip it into situational questions for candidates. Comparing answers should allow the recruiter to decipher which candidates align best for the role.
Remember, hard skills can always be learned through training, but you can’t train personality; you are who you are. Performance and personality are equally important to consider during the hiring process. A recruiter must focus on both hard skills AND soft skills in order to make the perfect placement!