When hiring a new employee, a manager’s first consideration when handed a CV or resumé is to look at previous job experience to determine whether the candidate has the skillset or background knowledge to preform as expected. What’s sometimes overlooked is a candidate’s soft skills, but when ignored it’s quite possible that the opportunity to bring onboard a valuable member to the team is missed. Placing weight on soft skills can help your organization cultivate a team that is cooperative and productive.
What are soft skills?
Hard skills are typically quantifiable, taught skills that are conveyed through trained proficiencies. Hard skills are the learned abilities that are usually used to decipher qualifications for a job which are typically technical, analytical, or even presentation-based. Soft skills, on the other hand, are often akin to personality traits or attributes and communication abilities. These skills are transferable, meaning they are not specific to one industry or role.
Here are 5 Soft Skills to Look Out For:
A person who takes initiative is a person who is proactive. If an employee anticipates a problem or hiccup in a plan, they should not wait for it to come to fruition. Instead, they should initiate action by informing the correct people of an expected challenge and even present potential solutions. Because initiative usually involves someone stepping out of their comfort zone or jurisdiction, it’s important to gage who can do this confidently without being fearsome or meek.
In the workplace, adaptability is about responding to changes effectively and efficiently. No one can say with certainty what the future will bring, which means that no employer will be able to prepare or warn their team about everything that will come their way. An adaptable personality will enable flexibility by leveraging strong problem-solving skills and critical thinking.
Since the effectiveness of multi-tasking has widely been debunked, to run an effective team, individuals must be able to successfully time manage. Time management isn’t as simple as completing a task within a specified time frame, it also requires strategic prioritization to ensure the tasks that are getting done quickly are the tasks that need to be completed first.
If an employee doesn’t have all hard skills to execute role-based tasks with ease, or they don’t have the experience behind them, then teachability becomes important. An employee who is willing to learn, even if the skills on their resume don’t check all of an employer’s boxes can acquire practical skills that will drive success in every task they’re assigned.
While positivity doesn’t really seem like a skill, it’s a crucial attribute to maintain in a team. A person’s demeanor influences the people around them so by being negative a whole team can be brought down. Positivity impacts the entire team by enabling cohesiveness and building motivation.
Together these skills come together to foster an environment that is productive and respectful. It also facilitates communication and collaboration which fuels productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success. Employing people who are equipped with these skills means that you will be able to lead your team with greater ease by aligning on shared values, goals, and work ethic.