Hard Skills vs Soft Skills: Know the Differences

For employers, soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Here's the difference between hard skills & soft skills, examples of both types of skills.

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Hard Skills vs Soft Skills Know the Differences

The job market today is getting more competitive and technologically driven than ever before. But, do you have any idea that how do companies hire employees these days? Before reaching an interview, an employer will look for Hard and Soft Skills. They may also contact several references after an interview to validate their skills and knowledge. So do you have the most important skills that employees need?

Today, employers are looking for an employee with hard skills, such as computer skills, and soft skills, such as solving problems. Of course, both skills are desired by employers. But which ones are the most important?

Let’s check the facts about hard and soft skills.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills generally are job-specific skills that are required to do perform a task. It can be defined as the technical abilities that fit the job. These skills are easier to qualify and can be measured easily. For example, a software engineer would have hard skills such as developing software, analyzing software, coding, etc.

Why is the hard skill necessary?

Hard skills serve as the backbone of the employee. It can be achieved by going through training and applying the trial and error method. Hard skills help

  • Determines whether the candidate will get the job.
  • To give an edge over the other candidates, a certain level of proficiency is always required.
  • Right hard skills help the employees to perform their job more efficiently.
  • It increases productivity, lowers turnout rates, and also increases employee’s job satisfaction.

Most demanded hard skills of 2021

These are 12 examples of hard skills which are essential for employees.

  • Data visualization.
  • User interface design.
  • Coding.
  • Forecasting.
  • Workflow development.
  • Graphic design.
  • Blockchain technology.
  • Project management.
  • Financial modeling.
  • Creative writing: plotting, world-building, dialogue.
  • Multilingual skills.
  • Programming languages (such as Perl, C++, Python, Java, and Ruby).

What are soft skills?

Soft skills may be called “personal skills” or “interpersonal skills.” These abilities may not be so specific when it comes to job descriptions as hard qualifications. For example, effective communication is one of the soft skills which are essential for any job seeker. Others include reliability, effective teamwork, and active listening.

Why is a soft skill necessary?

It is important for any employee, a fresher or an experience, to develop soft skills. From studies it has been found that the level of Soft skills of an employee’s contributed for 75% of long-term job success. Soft skills help to

  • Identify employees who can not only do the job but can do it well.
  • To differentiate while selecting between two candidates with similar academic and professional background
  • Hiring for the potential that is willing to learn and has an adaptive personality.
  • Choose from qualified candidates who meet the typical selection criteria.
  • To evaluate a candidate who is decisive and has a problem-solving nature.

Most demanded soft skills of 2021

These are 12 examples of soft skills which are essential for employees.

  • Communication.
  • Teamwork.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Time management.
  • Decision-making.
  • Organizational.
  • Stress management.
  • Adaptability.
  • Conflict management
  • Leadership.
  • Persuasion.
  • Openness to criticism.

Evaluating hard skills vs. soft skills

The evaluation of hard skills can be done through summaries, portfolios, and tasks, and roles.

However, soft skills are better assessed through questions and tests on the situation and behavioral questions and the consideration of the overall personality characteristics of a candidate as described throughout the recruitment process.

Mention hard and soft skills on a resume

A great resume grabs the attention of employers and recruiters. So before resume distribution, it is important to write a resume that makes you unique. While creating your resume, you can include a “Knowledge” section, highlighting your position-specific skills that cover the technical qualification.

Review the job you are applying for, according to which you can get hints about what to include and what priority in your skills section. Hard and soft skills are that employers want to see can be found in the post’s sections “requirements,” “education,” or “desired skills.” these skills are needed.

Here’s an example of how a skill section might look for someone applying for digital marketing and social media manager position –

SKILLS

Marketing skills: Social media marketing, SEO and SEM, Email marketing and automation, Content writing, Content marketing.

Technical skills: Photo and video editing, Basic design principles, HTML and CSS, Word press, office skills – spreadsheets and slide decks.

Language skills: Proficient in English.

Emphasize your skills during the interview

An interview aims to determine if the candidate will be excellent at the job. This means assessing the skills and experience, and attitude needed for that job. After making it to the interview round, you’ll get a chance to exhibit your soft skills and learn more about your hard skills. Generally, a portfolio or any test is conducted to know your hard skills.

Presentation of hard skills during an interview

  • Explaining about your training and experience
  • Respond effectively to technical work questions
  • Ask further questions related to the work
  • Portfolio provision (digital or physical)
  • Follow up with the skill test effectively.

Presentation of soft skills during an interview

  • Being punctual.
  • Maintain contact with the eye and asking a question for following up is an act of active listening.
  • Speak clearly for effective communication.
  • Being honest with the resume and your experiences.

Hard skills vs. soft skills – Who will win?

Research says that mostly the companies hire for hard skills, and they fire for soft skills. Therefore, the probability of selecting a candidate who is good at soft skills is 67% which means if you have good soft skills, you got a higher chance of getting selected. In contrast, if you have extraordinary hard skills but lack soft skills, there is only a 9% chance of getting selected.

So which is important? Hard skills or soft skills?

The answer depends on whom you are asking. The financial, legal, and marketing teams will say hard skills, while success, brand, and communications teams will speak about soft skills. The reality is that a high-performing organization needs both soft and hard skills. So keep a balance in gaining both the skills to achieve your dream job.

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