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Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills: Finding the Right Balance in Candidate Selection

Predicting the success and suitability of a candidate can be fairly easy for employers. While technical or hard skills often steal the spotlight, redirecting attention to the candidate’s soft skills (Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills) has also proven helpful. This shift is evident in many companies, which often rely on agencies like a top recruitment agency in Michigan.

Irrespective of the job, candidates must present themselves adept of both soft and hard skills. Both sets of skills complement each other helping to reassure the success in the workplace. Part of the recruitment job is to know how to assess the balance between hard and soft skills in a candidate. Finding a balance is essential for a company’s success. 

What is the difference between hard and soft skills?

What is the difference between hard and soft skills? 

Hard skills are the technical understandings that a candidate possesses of a job role. These skills differ from job to job. Each role demands a specific skill from a candidate. The following are some of the hard skills that recruiters must assess for depending on the job role-

  • Analytical Skills that include research, metric interpretation, data representation, diagnostics, etc.
  • Computer or technical skills such as excel, java script, C++, and so on
  • Marketing skills that encompass google analytics, writing, social media management, data visualisation, virtual and email marketing, etc.
  • Language skills such as academic writing, journaling, creative writing, business or proposal writing, content management and so on
  • Management skills that contain negotiating, business strategy, financial marketing, budgeting and project management.

Whereas, on the other hand soft skills ensure whether a candidate will be a proper fit for the workplace. These skills determine how and if the candidate would adjust to the company’s culture and emerge as a team player. 

These skills are usually the result of life experiences or personality traits that one nurtures. Handling responsibilities, knowing how to be a team player or applying social skills  is what keeps a team afloat.   

The following lists a number of soft skills that candidates must champion to put an impression on recruiters-

  • Communication skills that ensure candidates can listen and respond to potential clients.
  • Time management skills that can determine whether candidates effectively meet deadlines
  • Adaptability that can be helpful in adjusting to a new environment and portray flexibility at workplace
  • Being a team player is the most important of all the skills that makes a candidate more promising to hiring agencies
  • Problem solving abilities prove whether a candidate is able to think ‘outside of the box.’ Being able to come to a quick solution when put in a fix is what employers should be looking for.
  • Being creative comes hand in hand with being a good problem solver. Dealing with challenges thrown at candidates at work proves one’s creativity skills
  • Interpersonal skills help candidates help in the making a positive impression on clients

How to find a balance between hard and soft skills in candidates?

How to find a balance between hard and soft skills in candidates?

Relying on a resume is not the best idea, ofcourse. Hence, there are interviews that help companies to screen potential candidates. Skills and attributes that are core of a job profile are what usually a resume gives you.

Maintaining a line of questions depending on the resume outline is thus helpful. Using skill assessments methods such as asking a candidate to offer a probable solution to a problem situation is helpful to gauge their capacities. Predicting success of a candidate depends on how well one can blend both their hard and soft skills.   

To Wrap Up 

Between the two sets of skills, one needs to find a balance which sometimes is difficult to find. Some of them are hard to develop whereas others are difficult to learn. Recruiters must focus on skills that are important for the job that they are hiring for. 

Candidates might have the best hard or technical skills but not soft skills like communication or interpersonal abilities. The opposite is also a possibility. Too much focus on either of the skill sets might cost a company a potential good employee. Hence, hiring agencies ought to find a balance white recruiting or interviewing. 

Companies must have an effective hiring team in play to make sure they screen out candidates with a proper balance of skills. Therefore, having agencies that champion such abilities like Venus Consultancy staffing agency in Michigan often comes handy.