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One of the age-old dilemmas hiring managers face during recruitment is selection process. Two seemingly qualified candidates interview for the same position, but only one can be hired. This may seem like an ideal situation a hiring manager. However, it’s still a dilemma, and dilemmas demand solutions.

When choosing between two equal candidates, companies now prioritize “soft skills” as the main differentiator. “92% of talent acquisition professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important during hiring than hard skills” – LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report. 

While 89% said that a new staff doesn’t work workout because they lack critical soft skills. 

In this article, we will define and explain how paramount soft skills are in the workplace and how organizations can assess candidates during the hiring process.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence quotients that enable employees to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills. Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others.

Key Soft skills includes but not limited to: 

  • Attitude
  • Communication (both listening and speaking skills)
  • Work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership qualities
  • Time management
  • Decision making
  • Conflict resolution
  • Critical thinking
  • Networking
  • Empathy
  • Problem-solving

It can be difficult for hiring managers and others involved in the hiring industry to assess soft skills attributes due to their unquantifiable nature, making them an important but elusive set of skills to acquire.

Why Soft Skills in The Workplace Are in Demand

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important as organizations look add more value to their business. Hiring leaders have stated that soft skills are very essential when making hiring decision. 

Many employers reported that soft skills are even more important than tech skills.

Prioritize which skills to develop

You can only improve when you know which skills you lack. 

A simple but effective way to find your weaknesses is get honest feedback. 

You can simply ask others who know you or you can ask them to take this Insight quiz. It calculates your level of self-awareness and sends you the results based on your responses. 

A great place to start is this comprehensive list by LinkedIn 

The top 10 most desired soft skills, according to LinkedIn are:

  • Communication
  • Organization (time management)
  • Teamwork (collaboration)
  • Always punctual (time management)
  • Critical thinking (problem-solving)
  • Social skills (collaboration)
  • Creativity (problem-solving)
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Adaptability (leadership)
  • Friendly personality (collaboration)

Once you decide what skills to focus on, set aside time to acquire and improve soft skills.

Dedicate time to improve yourself

You should also make steady and dedicated progress on acquiring soft skills. Just as you are aspiring to acquire hard skills that apply to your job. 

In fact, some experts say that you can reach an impressive level of competency in a topic by putting in just 20 hours of deliberate practice.

You can enrol at some of the MOOCs like Udemy, Coursera, and GoSkills. 

Another wonderful option is the STEMAcademy.io. 

They run a soft skills program that will provide you with the right skills to build a successful career.

How you can Kickstart the soft skills revolution in your company

Digital skills will always be important — programmers, data scientists, engineers will still need to code and marketers will continue creating campaigns using the latest tools. 

But at the same time, employees need to be encouraged and empowered to develop soft skills. Soft skills training leads to personal career achievements, fosters better relationships with co-workers, and results in long-term benefits for the company. 

Soft skills are a mandatory fundamental skill to complement your hard skills in order to be successful in the modern workplace. 

You can also enrol yourself for the STEMAcademy soft skills program where you will get trained on the 21st century soft skills required to have a successful career.

Finally, it’s time to get to work.

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