Why Soft Skills Are Almost More Important Than Hard Skills When Hiring

Finding the right person for the job can be a balancing act. You need someone with the right hard skills — i.e., proficiency with certain computer software, fluency in certain languages — but that’s not all that matters.

In fact, soft skills — i.e.,  teamwork, stress management, communication, decision-making, and leadership — might actually be more important. When searching for talent with specific hard skills, this might sound a bit wild, but it’s true. Here’s why you can’t underestimate the value of soft skills.

Three Reasons Soft Skills Are So Important

They’re Hard to Teach

Soft skills are largely innate. It’s not impossible to teach them, but it’s typically a lot harder to learn a soft skill than a hard skill.

Say you have two candidates and one has all the right hard skills, but lacks soft skills like problem-solving, emotional intelligence and time management. The other has all the right soft skills, but is missing a few important hard skills.

Chances are, you’ll ultimately find much greater success with the second candidate, because helping them acquire the right skills doesn’t involve making changes to their personality traits and behaviors that come natural to them.

They Directly Impact Your Team

Soft skills have a direct impact on how your team works together. For example, if an employee with poor time management skills can’t meet deadlines, this can create a ripple effect throughout the team. Or if someone lacks teamwork skills, the rest of the group will not be able to properly flow.

Of course, this isn’t to say hard skills don’t also impact your team, because they do. However, issues with soft skills are typically much more challenging to correct.

They’re Indicative of Success

An employee can have the sharpest set of hard skills, but that’s not all that matters. If those abilities aren’t paired with soft skills like adaptability, work ethic, time management, problem-solving and communication, they probably won’t be much of an asset.

Fantastic hard skills alone don’t make an employee — or a team — successful. Without the right soft skills, these abilities can almost effectively be canceled out.

Need help with your hiring? HTSS, Inc. is here to assist your Lehigh Valley company. Contact us today to discuss a partnership!

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