Hiring for soft skills is important because they are transferable skills that can be used in different types of roles, making it easier for employees to transition into new roles and contribute to the team. Soft skills are also important for fostering good relationships between team members and creating a positive work environment. They can be used to increase motivation, collaboration, and build a culture of trust and respect. Lastly, soft skills can help employees handle difficult situations more effectively, which can lead to better overall outcomes.

Hire for soft skills, not for technical skills 

Why are soft skills so important?

It’s more important than ever for companies to focus on hiring the right people for their organization. While technical skills are certainly important, research suggests that soft skills, or personal qualities and traits, are equally crucial for success in the modern workplace. 

“Companies should prioritize hiring individuals who possess strong soft skills, and then focus on training them in the technical skills needed for their specific role”. 

Kevin Ramdas, PhD.

One study found that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills, while only 15% comes from technical skills and knowledge. This suggests that companies should prioritize hiring individuals who possess strong soft skills, and then focus on training them in the technical skills needed for their specific role. 

But why are soft skills so important, and how can companies effectively hire and train for them? 

First, let’s define what we mean by soft skills. These are personal qualities and characteristics that are often difficult to quantify, but are essential for success in a wide range of jobs.

Examples of common soft skills include:

  • Communication skills 
  • Leadership skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Adaptability and flexibility 
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Time management skills 

These skills are often referred to as “soft” because they are not specific to a particular job or industry, and are not typically taught in a traditional academic setting. However, soft skills are crucial for success in any job, as they help individuals effectively interact with others, solve problems, and adapt to change. 

So, why should companies prioritize hiring for soft skills? There are several key reasons: 

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1. Soft skills are essential for team success. 

In today’s increasingly collaborative and team-oriented workplaces, it’s crucial for employees to be able to work well with others. Strong communication skills, for example, are essential for effective collaboration, while adaptability and flexibility allow individuals to effectively respond to changing circumstances. When a team is composed of individuals with strong soft skills, it’s more likely to be successful in achieving its goals. 

2. Soft skills are important for customer satisfaction. 

In many industries, customer satisfaction is a key measure of success. Employees with strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are more likely to effectively interact with customers, resolve conflicts, and provide a positive experience. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and higher levels of customer satisfaction. 

3. Soft skills are key for leadership and career advancement. 

Leadership skills and emotional intelligence are crucial for success in management and leadership roles. These skills allow individuals to effectively motivate and lead teams, as well as navigate complex interpersonal dynamics. By hiring individuals with strong soft skills, companies can more effectively develop their future leaders. 

4. Soft skills can be difficult to teach. 

According to Kevin Ramdas, PhD, instructor at TelecomTRAIN, “while technical skills can often be taught through training and education, soft skills are often more difficult to develop”. It can take years of practice and experience to truly master communication, adaptability, or emotional intelligence. By hiring individuals who already possess strong soft skills, companies can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on training and development. 

TelecomTRAIN, Inc. has been providing technical skills training to the telecom industry for almost 20 years. We can help turn your workforce into telecom experts through various modes of online, on demand, virtual instructor-led, and in-person training. Visit the TelecomTRAIN website for information on technical courses, free webinars, events and other thought leadership activities.