'Soft Skills' and their importance
What are soft skills?
Are they essential?
Is it beneficial to highlight these skills in an interview?
So many questions! But don’t worry because we have some answers.
Recently, a few articles have surfaced that discuss the use of soft skills in recruitment. They debate on how important they are, and if the appropriate terms are used by HR and Recruitment agencies.
However, with so many voices and opinions around the topic, it can often be hard to understand what this term refers to, and how to use them in your interview process.
So, we at Brite Recruitment are here to shed some light on the situation.
‘The unexpected ‘soft skills’ that are most sought after include selflessness, a sense of humour and the ability to own up to something you do not know. In fact, 62 percent said they have hired someone who has demonstrated a range of these soft skills – such as sincerity and respectfulness – even if there were better-qualified candidates.’
Others include the drive for personal development, empathy, motivation, and creativity – to name a few. Any personality attribute that could be considered beneficial to a business is identified as a ‘soft skill.’
Why are these important?
Selflessness and a sense of humour not only means that you will make a good fit for a public facing role, if that is what you are interviewing for, but it especially means that you could be a good team player. Every business, no matter how big or small, is a working team. Despite the hierarchies, professionalism and targets, the essence of a business is the atmosphere in which you work. The rapport you build with colleagues is essential.
Perhaps the hardest soft skill to master, and present, is the ability to own up to something that you do not know. Identifying our short comings is everything we are taught not to do in an interview. The idea is to sell yourself, so why would you tell them you don’t know?
Well, because the alternative is lying. And that is not a good option.
For more information, check out our blog:
By admitting to your employer that you cannot do something, when they ask in an interview, it shows that you are honest. It also gives a great opportunity to show your desire and commitment for personal growth.
Not knowing a skill or small aspect of the job, but having the willingness and eagerness to learn, is appealing to employers.
Ultimately, possessing and demonstrating ‘soft skills’ makes you a desirable candidate.
Why ‘soft’ skills?
However, you may be wondering why there is so much confusion when it comes to this term. Why these traits are not taught to us in education. This ultimately stems from the origins of the term – the military.
‘Soft skills’ was a term used for anything that did not require a qualification or use of machinery. As journalist, screenwriter and entrepreneur Lindsey Galloway explains,
As a result, the term carries negative connotations of being unimportant, often overlooked in the workplace – especially in comparison to those who possess qualifications. Often stemming from the binary ideology of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’: ‘powerful’ and ‘meek.’
But this mentality is incorrect.
“The narrative around soft skills must change. Call them strong skills, brave skills, or leadership superpowers,” speaker and leadership consultant Minette Norman concludes. “It takes courage and vulnerability to use these skills in the workplace, but doing so results in organizations in which employees feel valued, included, and engaged.”
As our industry evolves, we are seeing the significance of soft skills more and more. So, it is important that we forget the negative connotations surrounding the term. Steering away from the binary implications and instead, advertise these skills for what they are. Essential for any successful working professional.
To conclude, we at Brite Recruitment encourage displaying these soft skills to potential employers during the interview process.
Promote your creativity, motivation, and selflessness. Express your sense of humour. Acknowledge the things you don’t know. Because employers are looking for a human to join their team.