Soft Skills: Why They Matter in Hiring

Soft Skills: Why They Matter in Hiring

In today’s competitive job market, having “soft skills” is essential. When considering the right candidate to hire, top-notch HR Directors highly value these skills for several reasons. When your new hire possesses these particular abilities, you gain a significant advantage over the competition when it comes to creating the perfect team and culture.

When reviewing resumes for an open position, HR Managers and computer applications typically screen applicants’ educational and career credentials. However, a good candidate’s qualifications may only get them invited for a first interview. To increase your chances of finding the “stand out” candidate, you must look for resumes highlighting soft skills. A resume is just the starting point in discovering a candidate’s potential. It gives you an initial glimpse of their technical prowess and a hint of their soft skills. But in the interview process and beyond, you truly get to see their soft skills shine! Here, you can witness their communication style, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and teamwork.

Soft skills encompass important traits like personality, leadership potential, ability to work in groups, and communication skills. These skills can play a pivotal role in determining whether you invite these candidates for a second-round interview or receive a job offer. According to HR professionals, you should prioritize transferable skills and seek well-rounded individuals who can smoothly integrate into existing teams.

The Power of Soft Skills

Soft skills are often underestimated and overlooked. However, when looking for the perfect applicant, find someone looking to grow personally or help their company thrive. One LinkedIn user accurately commented, “Soft skills are overlooked too often. Anyone or any company looking to grow and/or find their place in their respective market is wise to make developing these skills their main growth strategy.”

Watchen Nyanue, CEO of I Choose the Ladder, a Chicago-based career consulting company, wholeheartedly agrees: “Soft skills allow you to connect with your colleagues and employees as humans first. Once someone feels seen and that you care about them as a person, they will work harder for you — and ultimately, for the company.”

Differentiating Yourself through Soft Skills

Emotional intelligence is just as crucial as intelligence quotient (IQ) when hiring a new employee. David Bach, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at DroneUp, a technology company, emphasizes the importance of being an effective communicator, saying: “There is no point in being the smartest person in the room if no one wants to listen to you.” Look for individuals who can influence and persuade while also being understanding and empathetic.

Soft skills encompass a broad range of non-technical skills tied to leadership, interpersonal communication, adaptability, creativity, and productivity. In today’s job market, where many roles are hybrid and remote, both written and verbal communication skills are more important than ever. This includes the ability to actively listen and engage with others.

So, how can you spot these valuable soft skills in candidates?

  1. Active Listening: During an interview, does the candidate listen attentively and respond thoughtfully? Active listening is a sign of respect and empathy.

  2. Engagement: Is the candidate engaged in the conversation? Do they ask insightful questions? This shows curiosity and a desire to learn.

  3. Adaptability: Ask about a time when the candidate faced an unexpected challenge. How did they handle it? Their answer can reveal their ability to adapt and solve problems.

  4. Leadership and Influence: Look for signs of leadership and influence. These could be examples from previous roles or even volunteer work. Remember, leadership isn’t just about managing people; it’s about inspiring and motivating them.

  5. Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Candidates with high emotional intelligence can navigate social complexities and make personal connections with others.

Remember, technical skills can be taught, but soft skills are often innate. Therefore, when evaluating potential candidates, consider their soft skills along with their technical expertise. After all, an employee with a mix of both will be better equipped to handle the complexities of modern work environments.

Hiring a candidate lacking the right skills or not culturally compatible can lead to productivity loss, unhappy teams, and wasted resources.

River City Staffing provides a seamless hiring process where you’re connected with exceptional candidates who possess the right technical expertise and perfectly align with your company culture.

Our dedicated team at River City Staffing takes the stress off your shoulders by managing your recruitment process from start to finish, ensuring you get the perfect match for your next job opening. We’re all about making your hiring process a breeze and helping your company grow to new heights!

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