When applying for jobs, one of the first things that comes to mind particularly when writing a CV is the skills we possess, and how these can be applied to the job we want. Recruiters look for a number of different types of skills, however, in the modern workplace soft skills are becoming more important than ever. So, what are soft skills and why are they so important?
Soft skills are those which aren’t so much learned through training but can be described as character traits, which are typically self-developed. Communication skills, teamwork abilities, adaptability and problem-solving skills are all examples of soft skills that define how well you will be able to work with others. Here’s five reasons why soft skills are becoming increasingly important in today’s workplace.
1. The workplace is becoming interpersonal
Due to the rise in technology, the modern workplace is becoming more interconnected than ever. This means communication has changed, and not everything has to be face-to-face. Individuals can work remotely, meetings take place through video and decisions can be made through a simple message. What this also means is that your communication skills must be first-rate. Communicating effectively whilst miles away from your colleagues can be difficult but with the ability to work together as a team, it means flexibility and the ability to keep an organisation running whilst out of the office.
2. People buy from people
In this economic climate, the competition for business is fiercer than ever, and in lots of industries, the market is over-saturated. This means that clients have endless options to choose from, and low prices aren’t hard to come by. Take the hospitality industry - in every city, there are multiple restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from for every type of food, drink or nationality out there. However, there's one thing that attracts and retains people to your business – soft skills. Having interpersonal skills allows you to build a relationship with your customer, communicate with them effectively to provide them the highest standard of service and show them that their business is important to you. The ability to communicate at a human level makes all the difference to a customer or client, and is what makes or breaks an organisation's success.
3. Hard skills are useless without soft skills
Yes, you may have a masters degree, be fluent in three languages and have the computer skills of a technician, but are you able to work with the rest of your team? Are you able to solve problems whilst keeping colleagues and clients calm? Without the ability to communicate your skills and use them to achieve an end goal, they are useless. An individual presenting strong soft skills will complement the team, especially when considering the average person works in 10-15 different jobs throughout a career.
4. Adaptability is key in the workplace
As shown by recent events, you never know what strange turn the world may take in a matter of days. In these circumstances, your organisation must adapt to stay afloat, and this means every employee must too. Being flexible is a key soft skill which many underestimate. Are you able to adapt to fast-changing working conditions and efficiently solve problems? These are the skills which employers look for in today’s workforce.
5. You can’t automate soft skills
With a rise in technological advancements, employers are moving towards automation in order to save on costs. Recent reports suggest that around 1.5 million workers in Britain are at risk of losing their jobs due to automation. This means that more than ever before, it is important to showcase the skills you have which technology can’t emulate. Yes, automation may work when it comes to concrete mixing. However, what it can’t replace is face-to-face interaction – something which will never get old. No matter the technological advancements in an organisation, soft skills will still always be necessary.
Read on for our insights on becoming a contender in the job hunt.