Soft skills? Hard skills? These are terms that we hear in work environments, but what do they mean? What is the difference between Soft Skills & Hard Skills?
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills in the workplace
These terms refer to the skills a person has. Hard Skills are those skills difficult to achieve and change. That is, they are technical skills that are learned with training and professional experience. Therefore, these types of skills are necessary to perform certain tasks.
As for Soft Skills, they are the most complicated to reach or change. These skills are related to traits such as personality, communication and social skills, etc. For example, teamwork, motivation, assertiveness, etc.
Soft Skills can be acquired if they are put into practice. Although it is a complex task, it can be achieved if we look at how we act in certain situations and how we can improve.
Nowadays companies give more importance to Soft Skills than to Hard Skills in personnel selection processes. The main reason is that people with soft skills often adapt easily to the culture of the organization.
In this sense, it can be said that Soft Skills are a competitive advantage in the workplace. To get a job interview it is necessary to have Hard Skills. In a situation of equality between Hard Skills, companies will prefer candidates with Soft Skills.
Differences between hard skills and soft skills
With the data we have already gave, so far we can get an idea about the differences between the two skills. However, there are three essential differences that cannot be forgotten.
First of all, each of the skills require a different intelligence. Hard Skills relate to general intelligence. And, on the other hand, Soft Skills are linked to emotional intelligence.
Another difference is how they are considered by organizations. In most organizations they require professionals who have Hard Skills. However, Soft Skills are valued more or less depending on the business culture.
Finally, they differ in learning processes. Hard Skills are those acquired in training centers. That is, different levels of competence are achieved through regulated training.
In collation, soft skills do not start from a standardized procedure. These interpersonal skills are learned on a daily basis and by trial and error. Although we can find books on this type of aspects, it will depend on the personality of each person.
Which ones are more important?
Both skills will be more or less important depending on the position held or the career you want to develop. We currently find three different careers in these categories.
First of all, there are positions that demand more Hard than Soft Skills. This case usually occurs in the field of research. People with brilliant intelligence stand out, but they do not work well in teams.
On the other hand, there are positions that need both skills. Here we find most of the jobs. Employees need to have knowledge about their field, but they also need to have social skills to carry out their work effectively. For example, lawyers, psychologists, nurses, etc.
And finally, there are positions that demand more Soft Skills than Hard. In this category are the commercial, sales, customer service, etc. These professionals have to have the ability to communicate and reach other people. Also be persuasive and decisive.
Certify Hard Skills and Soft Skills
Important changes are happening in the labor market. Companies are working on training their employees. And, on the other hand, professionals want to continue developing professionally to remain competitive in the labor market.
Luckily, there are credentials to show that workers have new skills and competencies. They are known as badges. They are linked to the issuing entity, its evaluation criteria and its achievement tests. Therefore, both integrity and truthfulness can be shown. In our experience, the automatic measurement of these tasks is one of the most efficient means to create the profile of the worker.
The goal is to recognize the skills that are valuable to a worker. These symbols can be placed on the curriculum or on the website of an organization. They can also be shown on social networks like LinkedIn. It is a good way to show Hard and Soft Skills.