Striking the Right Balance in Hiring: Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills

Striking the Right Balance in Hiring: Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills
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In today’s competitive job market, hiring managers face the difficult challenge of finding the perfect candidate who possesses both the necessary technical proficiency and the essential interpersonal qualities. This is the reason when we are hiring candidates for our clients we ensure that the ideal candidate will have the right variety of desiring soft skills and hard skills.

Because of our years of experience in the human resources sector we would like to include some vital information in this blog post about how companies and employers can aim to strike a balance between soft skills and hard skills.

What are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Candidates include them in their resumes, and hiring managers can identify them easily. For example some hard skills can be listed as programming languages, foreign languages and a degree in a specific field.

This is the reason many employers are focusing on hard skills to decide if a candidate has the abilities they are looking for a specific job, because they showcase the technical knowledge for the job.

The Value of Soft Skills

Hard skills are technical abilities that can be measured, while soft skills are character traits that show a person’s ability to work in a team. One could say that soft skills are harder to define than hard skills, because they include personality traits and self-developed attributes that can show how well one can work in a team, communicating, and managing tasks. Some other soft skills are active listening and how well employees can be responsible.

During the interview process many people focused only on the hard skills and not paying attention to soft skills. Some of the reasons can be that they are harder to identify or at first glance may not be important. Honestly, some soft skills may not be important for some professions but can be vital for others. For example, the ability to work in a team may not be as significant for an accountant as it is for a marketer who has to collaborate with more people.

Considering this, employers should have in mind the needs of the position and the company culture. If they do not consider these during the hiring process they may hire a person who doesn’t possess the right combination of skills for the job and will not fit with the company culture.

Finding Balance

As a recruitment agency we are sharing our tips in finding the right balance between hard skills and soft skills. These are some things hiring managers should consider when hiring new people:

Look for the right characters: Some hiring managers are only caring about technical skills and experience. However if they spend more time trying to understand a few things about a candidate’s personality they would realise which candidates are a better fit for their company. By spending time understanding a candidate’s personality, hiring managers can assess whether they align with the company’s values, communication style, and team dynamics. Assessing soft skills during the hiring process can lead to better long-term fits within the organisation.

Consider people with less experience: Often, you will find the right candidate that possesses all the soft skills you desire but lacks hard skills or experience. Sometimes, candidates with less experience but strong soft skills can bring fresh perspectives, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn that more experienced candidates may lack. Hiring managers should be open to investing in training and development for promising candidates who demonstrate the potential to grow within the role and contribute positively to the team. Providing mentorship, on-the-job training, and opportunities for skill development can help these candidates bridge the gap between their current abilities and the requirements of the role.

Adaptability in a Changing Landscape: In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the soft skill of easily adapting and thriving amidst change is fundamental. Prioritising character traits such as resilience, creativity, and openness to new ideas equips teams to navigate uncertainty and seize opportunities for innovation and growth.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: Hiring managers should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in building strong and innovative teams. Diversity encompasses not only race, gender, and ethnicity but also a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. When hiring, it’s essential to consider candidates from different backgrounds and experiences, as they can bring unique insights and approaches to problem-solving.

Final Thoughts

Overall, finding the right balance between hard skills and soft skills requires a holistic approach to the hiring process. By prioritising character traits and considering candidates with potential, hiring managers can build diverse and high-performing teams that contribute to the success of the organisation in the long term.

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