Every job requires candidates and employees to have certain skills that directly relate to successfully completing all that the position entails. When thinking of the skill set required for a job, it’s typical to focus on the “hard” skills such as aptitudes and abilities. In a sales job, for example, a hard skill involves presenting pertinent and persuasive information to customers. In a creative job such as graphics, a hard skill is expertise in design software programs.
But it’s essential to not overlook “soft” skills, or traits that often relate to interpersonal connections and self-discipline. With that in mind, here are some of the top soft skills in demand for 2018.
Although communication has always been important in the workplace, from settings like meetings to presentations to conflict resolution, it is even more essential today. Social media, high-collaboration work cultures, and more make that obvious. Verbal and written communication skills are equally essential.
It’s true that managers and executives need to be great leaders. But when other employees exhibit leadership abilities, they’re showing a desire to motivate and inspire colleagues to greatness. They also have the potential to move up in your organization rather than staying in the same position indefinitely.
Workplace dynamics are changing so rapidly these days, and technological advances are driving much of that change. You need employees who are nimble and able to adapt to a changing work environment and your shifting needs.
There are many soft skills, and those that are required vary from job to job. Consider the specific soft skills that are necessary for jobs in your organization. Make it your goal when hiring to seek out and hire candidates who have the set of soft skills that you absolutely need.
Spotting Soft Skills
Once you have determined which soft skills are necessary for a job position, you’re part of the way to your goal of having employees with those skills. But how do you identify the candidates who have those essential abilities?
When you advertise a position with your company, include the soft skills in a description of the qualifications needed for the job. Ask candidates to say a bit in their cover letter and resume about those abilities. When you complete phone and in-person interviews, ask candidates detailed questions that will allow you to discern whether they have the soft skills you need.
Seeking out new staff members with incredible soft skills might take some effort, but in exchange you will be adding to your staff well-rounded employees who can make lasting contributions to your organization. And that makes the effort all worthwhile.