Bob Dylan got it exactly right when he sang “The Times They Are A-Changin”. This is evident in most aspects of your business and it is especially true when hiring new employees. It used to be that what mattered most were a candidate’s skills, experience, and education but that trend has begun to shift. The focus now is towards prospects with some of that general industry experience but they also must have strong cultural alignment along with proven “soft skills”.
So, what the heck are “soft skills” and why do they matter? Soft skills are the interpersonal attributes needed to succeed in the workplace. These are related to how employees work with and relate to others—in other words, good old-fashioned people skills.
These soft skills are taking precedence over college degrees and technical abilities. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE), they are in order:
Leadership skills (demonstrated ability to supervise others)
Take a minute to think about the best employees you’ve ever had. What was it that stood out about them? Was it their education and job skills or was it those less tangible characteristics such as a can-do attitude or the willingness to go above and beyond? Chances are those employees stood out because of their demonstrated emotional intelligence. These are the employees who know how to work well with others and are continually striving to grow. In short, employees with high emotional intelligence improve team morale and make the workplace appealing to those who are like-minded.
As you are hiring new employees, and evaluating your staff, consider shifting your focus toward bringing people with good soft skills on board. They can help shape your culture positively with every interaction inside and outside your organization.
If it is hard for you to find someone who has soft skills, reach out to us. We will be glad to help you identify your next great employee. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with me.