The concept of having soft skills for workplace is not new; it just gained tremendous traction over the past few years.
In fact, the Global Talent Trend report shared by LinkedIn in 2019 highlighted that approximately 92% of hiring managers believe soft skills are as important or even more important than hard skills.
People were hired primarily for their hard or technical skills back in time, but the changing work dynamics have brought about a significant change in the hiring process.
HRs now give more importance to candidates with essential soft skills than those who don’t.
So if you’re preparing to apply for a new job or get up the ladder of success, you should start taking soft skills seriously.
Soft Skills Vs. Hard Skills: What is the Difference?
Before you proceed to read any further, it is important that you clearly understand what soft skills and hard skills exactly are. It will help you better understand the reasons behind the growing demand for soft skills at workplaces.
To begin with, soft skills can be referred to as intangible qualities that are not directly measurable but help a person perform activities efficiently whose results can be measured. They can be a part of a person’s inherent qualities or can be acquired via professional training.
Positive attitude, work ethics, communication skills, empathy or compassion, time management, collaboration skills, and problem-solving abilities are some of the popular soft skills that hiring managers look for in candidates.
On the other hand, hard skills or technical skills are the core skills that help a person perform a particular task effectively. It is directly related to your core job. For example, accounting is a hard skill ideal for accountants or people in the finance domain. Some other examples of hard skills are computing, coding, typing, designing, etc.
If you want to become irreplaceable at the workplace, you have to acquire the best of both worlds, i.e., be good in terms of both hard skills and soft skills.
Do You Really Need Soft Skills to Land Your Dream Job?
You’ll be quite surprised to know that soft skills tops the list of trends responsible for transforming a workplace, and around 91% of organizations are looking for candidates with more soft skills.
This should give enough indication that to land a good job in today’s time, acquiring hard skills is not enough. You will have to pair it with a bunch of in-demand soft skills that can impress any hiring manager.
Let’s understand it with a real-life hiring situation. If an HR comes across two candidates who are equally good at their core skills, but one of them steps up to showcase how his soft skills can help him perform well at their workplace, the HR will naturally pick him over the other candidate.
So if you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities, you can consider developing the soft skills discussed below.
What Soft Skills for Workplace Should You Acquire?
Though the list of soft skills that HRs find desirable can be lengthy, you can learn one or more as per your convenience to stand out.
So let’s head straight to the soft skills that can help you land a desirable job.
One soft skill that will always earn you some brownie points wherever you go is problem-solving.
Those who possess excellent problem-solving skills are adept at overcoming any challenges thrown at them at the workplace and beyond. It is why hiring managers are keen to hire candidates with strong problem-solving skills.
To be good at problem-solving, you should also be able to identify and acknowledge the exact problem to solve it in a reasonable timeframe. In a corporate setting, problem-solving can help you identify and solve problems that involve a rift among teammates and various other issues.
If you already possess good problem-solving skills, an excellent way to highlight it is by mentioning a situation where you used your problem-solving skills to resolve an important issue. While mentioning it in your CV, keep it short, simple, and to the point.
Adaptability means being able to adjust to unforeseen changes in the best way possible. While some believe it is not the best soft skill for workplace to master, it certainly comes with its share of advantages.
With growing challenges and uncertainty looming over workplaces worldwide, companies are interested in hiring candidates who can comfortably navigate their way through such a challenging and ever-changing environment.
If you have greater adaptability, you can be a good fit to face situations involving a company merger, new leadership, change in the workplace, change in workplace policies, etc.
In business, nothing goes as planned most of the time, so employees are expected to handle such situations tactfully.
If you can display adaptability as your soft skill during your interview, you can have a better chance of getting hired.
It won’t be wrong to say that relationship-building is one of the most valued soft skills by hiring managers worldwide.
Irrespective of the role you’re applying for, you’ll be expected to build good relations with your colleagues, clients, and other people you’ll come across in your corporate life.
When you’re able to foster good relations with your teammates and clients, working becomes a lot easier and fun. It can also help in getting work done quickly and effectively.
If your interview is due in the coming week, you should include instances where you used your relationship-building skill to foster better relations with key decision-makers in your space and got some great internship opportunities.
Creative & Critical Thinking
As we inch closer to the much-anticipated fourth industrial revolution, skills like creative and critical thinking will play a pivotal role in entirely shaping the business world.
In fact, the World Economic Forum ranked these skills as the 2nd and 3rd most top skills essential to survive the new age of working.
Companies believe onboarding candidates with creative and critical thinking capabilities will help bring new, fresh ideas to the table. These soft skills for workplace will also be in high demand when AI and automation start taking over a major part of the business operations to complement their capabilities.
Many people naturally develop these skills over a period, while some take professional trainings to develop them.
Including these soft skills on your CV can set you apart from other candidates, so do consider nurturing these highly valuable skills for a bright future.
Good, crisp, and effective communication is at the heart of most successful business activities.
It is why hiring managers are paying special emphasis on hiring candidates with exceptional communication skills. Good communication will help you gel well with your colleagues, clients, and top managers, enabling clear messages being delivered at all stages.
Communication is a soft skill you cannot ignore. And the best part of improving your communication skills is that you can utilize them in your professional and personal life for impressive growth in various aspects.
Improving communication skills is not that difficult. You just have to make that extra effort to be good at it.
Are You Ready with Your List of Soft Skills for Workplace?
When it comes to soft skills for the workplace, not every hiring manager will be looking for the exact same set of soft skills.
To cut the clutter from the entire process, we’ve listed above the top five soft skills that can give you a major added advantage over other candidates wherever you go.
So take your pick of one or more soft skills listed above and start working towards improving them before your next interview.
You’ll be fairly surprised to see how these soft skills can help you land your dream job.