What's the difference between soft and hard skills?

What’s the difference between soft and hard skills?

Soft and hard skills

What’s the difference between soft and hard skills?

In 2022, employers more often ask candidates about their real-life skills, rather than what they’ve been studying or where have they worked previously. Some would argue that skills-based hiring is the future of hiring. Whether you are an employer looking for new team members, or a candidate looking for a new job, you should have an understanding of what hard and soft skills are and how can you use them during the recruitment process.

Simply said, you must have both – soft and hard skills. Are you wondering how to identify and differentiate them from one another? Wonder no more! In this blog, we will explain to you what are soft and hard skills, what’s the difference between them, what tools you can use to identify them for free and how they relate to the job search.

Soft skills vs. hard skills

What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills? Hard skills refer to the job-related knowledge and abilities that employees need to perform their job duties effectively. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the personal qualities that help employees really thrive in the workplace. Hard skills help you identify candidates who are good on paper, whereas soft skills indicate which of these candidates are good in person, too. This means that a good candidate needs a good mix of hard and soft skills so that they can be successful in their role.

Examples of soft skills

Soft skills are general characteristics, relevant to personality traits. They are unique to the individual and more so a personal habit or trait than a learned or acquired skill. Soft skills speak to how and why you are motivated to do certain things. They speak directly to your personality. To get a better idea of what soft skills are exactly, see the list of some of the most desirable soft skills by employers:

  • Communication-skills
  • Critical thinking 
  • Adaptability 
  • Creativity 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Well-organised
  • Quick Learner
  • Open-minded 
  • Trustworthy 
  • Reliable
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Autonomic worker
  • Time-keeping
  • Curiosity

Examples of hard skills

This list only contains a few examples of hard skills, as there are a wide variety of skills that pertain to all different industries and job functions. Developer’s hard skills will drastically vary from accountant’s hard skills. You might not have any of the skills from the list below, however, it should help you recognize the difference in soft and hard skills.

  • Bilingual 
  • Adobe Creative Suite 
  • Programming languages (JavaScript, etc) 
  • Website development 
  • Content development 
  • Copywriting 
  • Copyediting 
  • SEO marketing 
  • Statistical analysis 
  • User interface design 
  • Proofreading 

Lack of hard skills

For example, let’s say an employer is looking for a software developer. He finds a person who previously worked as a software developer. He hires this person and when they start work, it turns out they don’t know the programming language that the rest of the team is using. In this case, the candidate is missing some crucial hard skills.

Even though positions can be named with the same title, other the responsibilities and knowledge don’t entirely compare. Developers can use different coding languages, marketers can use different software, graphic designers might have experience in Photoshop but not in Figma etc. This is why skills-based hiring comes in handy. Instead of looking at candidate’s previous work experience, you make sure they have the exact skills you are looking for.

Lack of soft skills

Now you understand how crucial certain hard skills are for the roles, you might wonder how the lack of soft skills can affect your workplace. Let’s imagine you are looking for a software developer who can code in certain language. You’ve found that person and offered them a job. However, previously they were a freelancer but in their new role they have to work with a team. The person doesn’t communicate with their team members about their project, doesn’t ask any questions, doesn’t make their line manager aware of their own mistakes etc. In this situation, the employee clearly lacks some soft skills like communication skills, teamworking etc.

How to identify my skills?

If you are still struggling to identify what skills you have, PitchMe might be the perfect solution! Once you register and finalise your profile on our platform, we provide you with visual evaluation of your soft and hard skills.

We take a data-driven approach to candidate profiling. It combines traditional sources, such as a CV, with a candidate’s digital data to build the most complete, real-time, dynamic profile of each candidate’s skills. 

You can build your SmartMe profile in minutes by uploading your CV and giving it a boost by including a link to your personal or business websites, any social profiles, blogs, online games and more (it’s up to you to choose which digital data to include). 

You’ll then be matched with the right role that best incorporates all of your skills, with each employer able to see all of the skills and attributes that you bring to the role. 

Get started with SmartMe right now by clicking here

We hope you find these tools useful —  you may just find that they have the power to transform your job search!

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