There is an increasing emphasis on soft skills in new hires. This is true in virtually every industry and in every type of job. Why? Because employers know the “hard” skills can be taught on the job, but soft skills can’t. What are soft skills and why do they matter now more than ever?

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are those personal human characteristics that make you a great employee. Your ability to listen and communicate, your emotional maturity, and intellectual curiosity are all soft skills. Some of the best soft skills include:

  • Dependability and reliability
  • Motivation and initiative
  • Clear, effective communication
  • Dedication and commitment
  • Creativity and a “think outside the box” attitude
  • Troubleshooting
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Time management and organization skills

Hard skills are those things you learned on the job or in school; the software you work with or the equipment you’ve used or what you’ve learned in a class. But you can have hard technical skills and still be a terrible employee if you are impatient, don’t listen, or can’t communicate. Soft skills are those personality traits that make you pleasant to get along with, particularly as part of a team setting. Leadership, patience, emotional intelligence, and problem solving are all great skills that employers focus on. Why are soft skills so important right now?

Why Soft Skills Matter?

Today, most jobs require a certain level of cooperation and teamwork. Soft skills are what grease the skids of these interactions. Employees that don’t listen or don’t follow through or perhaps don’t have a good work ethic, will completly disrupt a team and the work itself. Even one employee that lacks soft skills in your business is one too many.

Employees with strong soft skills are good at handling constructive criticism. They can resolve conflicts without escalating to managers. They can speak calmly and tactfully to their co-workers. Employers look for workers with these skills along with attention to detail and even simple soft skills like having the ability to show up to work on time.

If you have soft skills today, you are more likely to get the job—period. Employers are lamenting the decline of soft skills in their workforce. They would rather have an employee that needs to learn some of the technical skills for the job than they would a worker that is completely disruptive. Small Business Chron says, “Soft skills are important to employers. These gifts of being able to relate well to others and impart positive feelings make the environment a peaceful and productive one.”

So, the hard skills you learn in school and on the job are great. But it’s a good idea to emphasize your ability to communicate, organize a large workload, or troubleshoot problems. These skills are absolutely critical to today’s teams. If you have them, flaunt them, and you will stand out from the crowd during a job search.

Stellar Staffing is looking for candidates with soft skills. Talk with our team today about the opportunities available.

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