Have you ever been at a job interview or training and have been asked what your hard and soft skills are? Have you ever stopped and thought about what your soft skills are? Let’s take a closer look at soft skills and their importance in our everyday lives.
What are soft skills?
While hard skills are all about job-specific technical skills learned through education, training, and certification programs, soft skills are interpersonal skills, personality traits and attributes, communication skills, and social cues. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are harder to evaluate, define, and measure.
Why are they important?
In the workplace, both hard and soft skills contribute to the customer or client satisfaction. Your technical skill get people in, your soft skills make them stay.
More than the exceptional technical know-how, your attitude, work ethic, communication skills, and empathy make the entire customer service experience a pleasant one. Conducting a customer experience survey is important as it allows you to gauge how your clients and customers feel about your products and services. It gives you the chance to improve your performance.
Even if we take out the workplace from the discussion, unless you’re a hermit, you spend a good deal of your day interacting with people within your home, neighborhood, or community. Most interactions with people will require some soft skills whether you’re building friendships, looking for a potential partner, coaching your children’s little league team or negotiating at the market. These are important in both our professional and personal lives.
How do they matter?
Soft skills matter in the recruitment process.
A 2017 Harvard paper states jobs that require higher levels of people interaction grew by almost 12% in the U.S. labor force. Some of the most in-demand soft skills recruiters are working for nowadays are:
Soft skills are important in career promotion and progression.
According to iCIMS Hiring Insights 2017, 94% of recruiters believe that employees with stronger interpersonal skills have better chances of advancing in their careers and workplaces compared to those who have more experience but have weaker people skills.
Soft skills keep customers coming back for more.
Employees with outstanding interpersonal skills give the workplace a more collaborative, productive, and healthier environment that makes it a pleasant place to be in. People who exude a genuine warmness are people magnets that attract new customers through the door and help retain existing ones.
Soft skills cannot be automated.
Emotional intelligence, empathy, adaptability, and creativity are some soft skills that are hard to automate. Employers and businesses are more likely to look for these skills in light of all the automation happening nowadays.
The future workplace will be dependent on soft skills.
In this age of digitization and artificial intelligence, soft skills are more in demand now. With robots and A.I. replacing humans in factories, production lines, and other similar environments, traditional skills like communication, empathy, teamwork, and critical thinking are now more important than ever.
The ability to communicate and connect on a human level gives one clear advantage in life and is important in handling our daily affairs, whether these are professional or personal concerns.