Alban Gaffori - Sep 30, 2019

Soft Skills Are the New Hard Skills

Finding the right person with the right hard skills can be very complex. Due to the raging talent war, many managers decide to compromise by putting soft skills aside. However, soft skills or culture-fit should never be sacrificed in favour of hard skills. 

Are hard skills outdated?

It is currently difficult to recruit talent, and this is only expected to increase. Indeed, according to a report by Dell and the Institute for the Future,

85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 do not exist yet.

It is therefore more appropriate to capitalise on soft skills. Indeed, even if a candidate does not tick all the boxes necessary to do a job but is agile and has the ability to adapt or solve problems, you can more easily train them, make them evolve and equip them with more technical skills. This is especially true in the current climate where new tools, technologies and work systems are emerging at a frenetic pace and need to be constantly updated. The real challenge is to find someone who has the potential to acquire these skills in the medium to short term. 
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Culture-fit

Finding the talent that fits your environment will also bring great value to your company and have a positive impact on your bottom line. Employees who integrate well into a team are happier and, as Laurence Vanhée explains,

"Being happier at work improves performance".

Dissatisfaction and stress push people to change job more frequently. This can lead to an increase of almost 50% in turnover. This issue needs to be monitored closely in the current context of talent shortages. Finally, a good atmosphere and culture in a company attracts candidates who are compatible with the business and creates a virtuous circle.

Consequences of failed recruitment

Hiring someone who doesn't fit your business will cost you money and waste valuable time. The recruitment process is already expensive, but laying off an employee and finding someone else is even more so. Unfortunately, this aspect is underestimated far too often.

To learn more about the real costs of failed recruitment, read our article The Real Cost of Not Finding the Right Talent.
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Smaller structures

In a start-up or scale-up, soft skills and cultural compatibility are essential and relegate hard skills to the background. 

For example, if a company hires an expert on a certain technology with 10 years' experience and whose habits are already well established, how will they adapt in the event of change (which is very frequent in this type of company) or a new technology? They will certainly not be as flexible as a less experienced candidate, but one who has potential and jumps at the opportunity to train within a growing company.

Conclusion

It is vital to focus not only on hard skills. Instead, focus your energy on hiring candidates with the right DNA for your company and the ability to grow within it. Invest time in training the right people and the results will be even more positive. 

Discover the Smart Recruiting® method, which combines digital tools and marketing strategy to achieve fast, efficient and qualitative recruitment. Click on the link below to learn more!

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Written by Alban Gaffori

Alban is a notorious multi-tasker and a pioneer in using digital technologies to reinvent today’s recruitment. Big believer in Smart Recruiting® as a tool to match top talent with the right employers. Privately a fan of mountain biking and hiking, he loves to travel to the four corners of the world.