As employers and hiring managers, you are the gatekeepers for your company. You understand that bringing one bad egg onto your team can damage your company culture and morale at best, and introduce an insider threat to your company’s security and longevity at worst. For this reason, the need for thorough screening and background checks is paramount. But other than trustworthiness, what other employee character traits should hiring managers be assessing as they narrow down their choices?
According to The Daily Leader, these added traits can be broken down into soft and hard skills. While the hard include the most obvious qualifications for your industry (technical proficiency, length of experience, education, etc.), the soft will include those traits that signal whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for you company culture.
- Enthusiasm and passion
- Being able to work collaboratively as part of a team
- Good written and verbal communication
- Ability to commit long-term to company goals
- Ability to connect interpersonally
- Demonstrably good work ethic
When Do Soft Skills Outweigh the Hard?
It might seem to be a given that hard skills are the most valuable or sought after in a candidate, but a candidate that might have the knowledge without the soft skills might ultimately lose out to lesser qualified applicants. It all depends on the employer and the position, but it’s an important consideration to make when comparing resumes and interviews. Which of all these skills are the most critical for you personally? Would you invest in increasing a teachable employee some necessary technical knowledge simply because they’re passionate about the work, or would you elect to hire someone who can hit the ground running? The catch is that this latter candidate’s drive is noticeably absent.
Have you had to make such decisions in your own hiring experiences? Share them in the comments!