Softly, softly does it…

An article recently published on Linkedin highlighted the growing importance of ‘soft skills’ in the recruitment process, with 90% of HR professionals (interviewers) saying that in terms of the obligations they have to take into account when making a hire it is the identification of these qualities that eclipses the other trends such as offering job applicants flexibility in working conditions, pay transparency and anti-harrassment procedures. Perhaps even more startling is that almost 90% of those surveyed said that ‘lack of’ these qualities is invariably blamed for what later turn out to be bad hires, so the real challenge for recruiters is how to identify them in an interviewee in the first place.

The World Economic Forum would agree, that ‘non-cognitive’ soft skills are key ways to leverage on uniquely-human qualities which is another reason why AI doesn’t yet have all the answers.

Know this then: Once you’ve won the interview, you’ve made it into the room and are seated across the desk from the recruiter your ‘hard’ skills (academic qualifications) are taken as read and from here it is the less tangible qualities such as empathy, emotional intelligence, creativity, resilience etc, etc that must now come to the fore. The interviewer is actively searching for evidence that you have what they’re looking for and the way to make this easy for them is to present the most authentic version of yourself. The good news is that this is very do-able, but the less affected you are by nerves the better, and this is all down to your preparation:

  • Be comfortable with the depth of all your research into the specifics of the job description.  Know why you’re there, know what is going to be asked of you and be prepared to prove that they should value what you can bring to the party.         
  • Be confident that you can back up all the work experience claimed on your CV with some evidence of commercial awareness.
  • Get yourself into the right frame of mind, ie instead of noting from the clock that you have so far survived your 45 minute interview slot you should be hoping that there’s still enough time to ask your own questions.

If ‘figuratively’ you’re on the front foot this will have literally helped with your body-language without you having to concentrate on looking energised and engaging.

For any help in getting onto the front foot, get in touch with us at Work Savvy.

It should be noted that the graphic makes a good point but is sending the wrong message, ie unless the survey expects the long-term trends to be any different the terminology is all wrong for there’s nothing ‘soft’ about ‘soft skills’. Now that it is confirmed that they’re so important perhaps in future they’ll be known as ‘core, crucial, critical or perhaps ‘savvy’.

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