Now, more than ever, expertise is only half the job. Hiring managers that continue to judge candidates solely on their knowledge and experience are putting their employer’s business at risk. In the new Millennial world, the ideal candidate for your vacancy is the person who brings technical knowledge as well as the ability to lead, communicate and manage their time well. They must have the capacity to live, love and share the brand values that you’ve worked so hard to instill.
That’s the dream candidate, but often hiring mangers stop at expertise, ignoring the value and importance of interpersonal skills. In the Hospitality industry, they’re called soft skills – the ability to deliver for the business, whilst also delivering an excellent customer experience. And whilst IT, finance and consulting employees rarely come into contact with the customer, they do interact with people equally as important – other employees.
The largest skills gaps are soft skills
In the latest Emerging Jobs Report from LinkedIn – a good measure of the top skills needed by employers – soft skills were highlighted as being in short supply. From Marketing and Sales, to start-ups, Software Development and Cloud Computing, soft skills are needed for communication, management, leaderships and teamwork. What an employee can do technically is important, but how they do it can make the difference between a business succeeding and losing out to a competitor who has ensured their talent has a balance of hard and soft skills.
As you would expect, the LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report highlighted the rise of Automation and Data roles, such as Blockchain Developer, Machine Learning Engineer and Data Scientist. But soft skills, such as leadership, communication, and time management made up almost 50% of the skill gaps list. In a fast-changing world, where expertise can be outdated in a matter of months, soft skills remain consistently relevant, and those with them have an advantage over those relying purely on knowledge and experience.
Take the role of ‘System Engineer’, back in 2015 soft skills made up less than 1% of job requirements in listings on LinkedIn. In 2017 (the latest year reported) they made up 8%. And LinkedIn users are responding to this rise in need for interpersonal skills. On average, a quarter of all skills listed by US members in 2017 can be classified as soft skills.
Top 5 soft skills to assess in interviews
Soft skills are essential in any role, and with an increasing transient Millennial workforce, finding candidates that can live values and communicate well is key to reducing staff turnover and business risk. Whether it’s IT jobs in Bangkok or Finance roles across Asia, Assessing soft skills in an interview is, admittedly, more difficult than measuring hard skills, so here’s a rundown of the top five soft skills to look for, according to a survey of 1,200 hiring mangers performed by LinkedIn.
As an employer, you should develop your own questions to assess these skills, and as a candidate you should come ready to give examples of your soft skillset:
2. Culture Fit
5. Growth Potential
The soft stuff is what separates us from the machines
AI is here and replacing people in roles across the global economy. But the potential of AI and machine learning has also highlighted its shortcomings. As more of your competitors switch to automated processes, so the benefits of relationships, personal human-to-human service and empathy are desired even more. These human traits are what separate us from the machines, and as long as you have human customers, employees and suppliers, hiring people with excellent soft skills will always benefit your business.
For help finding candidates with all the essential hard and soft skills to transform your business, get in touch.
Latest posts by Jay Lale (see all)