7 Jul

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Soft Skills

Posted by John Brandwagt

The importance of hard skills is easy enough to understand. They are the technical and tangible skills candidates learn through education and experience, and are easily translated from one job to the next. They are the skills required to get the nitty and gritty aspects of a job done.

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However, what about the soft skills? These skills tend to be rooted deeper within a candidate’s disposition and behaviour. These are the skills that are showcased through a person’s intuition and personality. Considering these soft skills during the hiring process can mean the difference between hiring an adequate candidate and an ideal candidate.

Understanding soft skills is vital for ensuring your interview allows you to see far beyond technical skills and how this person might fit into the desired position. Being able to identify good candidates can be difficult, but remembering soft skills makes the process a little easier.

Why They Matter

So, why do soft skills matter? These skills allow teams to effectively work together and communicate with each other. They are skills that push workers to take initiative and solve problems without hassle. It can be the difference between a leader and someone who is part of the crowd.

These skills often make a person able to work effectively with both clients and coworkers. A productive and healthy workplace relies on soft skills. Without a range of these skills, a worker might cause tension or confusion in the workplace.

When interviewing potential job candidates, it’s important to keep in mind the potential soft skills they must possess to get the job done and keep the workplace functioning effectively. If someone has a wide range of technical skills, but won’t act as a leader in the role, perhaps it would be best to pursue a candidate you know has great leadership skills, for example.

Key Skills    

While all skills are important one way or another, there are a few that stand out as vital when it comes to a healthy workplace. Try to look for candidates who possess these skills during interviews.

Communication skills expand far beyond just talking. It’s the ability to change one’s tone and body language according to the audience and the situation. It’s the ability to read body language and adjust your responses accordingly. It’s remaining calm and continuing to communicate regardless of stress levels or emotion.

Teamwork allows groups of people to work together seamlessly. Teamwork allows people to share ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or embarrassment. Being able to work as a team is vital for businesses that rely on groups of people to get tasks done.

Problem solving is rolling with the punches regardless of the situation. It’s always being on your toes and reacting according to how the dice land. Great problem-solving skills can be the difference in a project going extremely well or very poorly.

Conflict resolution allows workers to move beyond issues when they arise. With many different personalities working together, it’s only natural for disagreements to arise on occasion. However, working past these issues and finding a solution is a skill that comes with patience and open-mindedness.

How They Work Together        

Candidates who possess several soft skills, along with the required hard skills and IT qualifications, will fit into your workplace much more effectively than those who are lacking. Often these professionals are motivated more than others and will help your business grow versus someone who has undeveloped soft skills.

Knowing how to pick the best candidate is important, but understanding which soft skills they either have or lack can be a great place to start.

7 Things You Need to Know About Working with IT Recruiting Firms

Topics: IT Skills

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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