Are you recruiting for the ever important soft skills set? Does your business excel at getting clients but struggles to keep them over time? Does your company experience staff turnover at a rapid rate or do you employ managers who fail to lead employees? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, there’s a good chance your company is experiencing a soft skills gap.
Importance of Soft Skills
Soft skills are the hard-to-define impersonal and behavioral qualities that determine how someone will act or react in a situation. As an HR or employment recruiter, you’re probably well versed and comfortable in recruiting for hard skills, but hiring a candidate for their ability to collaborate, communicate and problem solve is very different. More and more, soft skills are the lynchpin to finding employees and promoting managers with the ability to lead, hire, and retain employees who can not only tolerate, but also thrive, in an ever-changing environment.
Soft Skills Breakdown
- Willingness to learn new things
- Work well individually and as a team
- Able to communicate
- Open to problem solving
- Possess organizational skills
- Bring a positive attitude to the position
- Ready to collaborate and provide suggestions
Hire or Re-Train?
Considering the growing expense of hiring and retaining good candidates, employers have begun to question if it’s better (or easier) to train, or re-train, an in-house employee who already possesses strong soft skills. Alternatively, is it better to hire for soft skills in the first place? The ambiguous answer is both, and it depends on the circumstances. Knowing your team and the unique talents they offer is critical in knowing if the required soft skills of knowledge, flexibility and teamwork are already inherent in the employee. Having the right soft skills is instrumental in helping the worker transition to a new position with the help of teammates and a coach. While this might sound like more work initially, consider the time, cost and stress involved in an external search. In these instances, you’re essentially rolling the dice and starting from scratch.
When it comes to situations like this, building and retaining relationships is critical. Employment recruiter excel with this opportunity because from the moment a candidate walks in the door, they are assessing and searching for the right placement. These staffing recruiters also have the advantage of knowing the candidate and understanding each client’s culture and business need. By relying on the connections built between a staffing agency/client and job candidate/staffing recruiter, both the client and the candidate have a greater chance of finding the right fit.
If or when the client and/or candidate needs to find a better-suited role, a staffing or employment agency can rely on prior relationships with both to find a more conducive fit. Best of all, this process occurs with less time and expense than an external search. Relying on the observations of a staffing recruiter is a meaningful way to increase your competitive edge and enhance employee productivity.