When we hire employees at Nexxt we employ a philosophy that has yet to steer us wrong. The philosophy is easy—the skills can be taught, but you can’t teach fit.
With that idea in mind we decided to survey both HR Professionals and job seekers to see what they value more—hard skills or soft skills. And according to the recent study, 56% of HR Pros value interpersonal skills (soft skills) over technical expertise (hard skills).
When we evaluate candidates to fill our own positions, we appreciate both hard and soft skills. We use a system that our CEO created to qualify applicants. “T” stands for “Team” and “S” stands for “Skills”. Then we grade the candidate based on their ability to fit with the team and their skill set using a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being the best, 3 being the worst.
A job candidate that is ranked as a “T1S1” is an ideal potential employee, but we won’t dismiss a “T1S2” or even a “T1S3”. T1S2s and T1S3s have just as good of a chance as coming in for an interview as a T1S1.
By hiring for soft skills, rather than for technical skills, we’ve had a great retention rate. We’ve also witnessed firsthand that when we’ve filled very specialized positions and hired based solely on technical skill—the hires have not worked out. Evaluating candidates based on soft skills is key when making strong hires.
While it’s harder to fully understand a candidate’s soft skills through their resume, there are ways to do it.
For instance, a candidate’s activities outside of the workplace obviously says a lot about the type of person the candidate is. So, if a job seeker lists that they have a black belt in karate that demonstrates that that person is a hard worker. And if someone shares that they perform in Community Theater, it is likely that that person is creative and outgoing. We also look for accomplishments that imply they worked as part of a team or perhaps they manage all of the communications for a department. These types of things can shed some light on a candidate’s interpersonal skills. So keep these in mind when you apply to that next job and know what is and is not appropriate to include on your resume.