Career Tips / Blog
Every organization look out for different skill-mix and experiences in its hiring efforts, considering their business domain and knowing fully well the implications of getting a wrong hire. Hiring Managers emphasise on soft skills because of its enormous importance. It is required by every employee to engender a near perfect workplace as they work as a team, relate with each other etc.
Aside the core competencies or hard skills i.e skills required to perform on the job acquired through learning, education, trainings on the job etc, certain soft skills are required of potential candidates as sort for by companies and necessary to succeed in a environment.
Soft skills have variously been defined. They are simply cluster of personal qualities, attitudes, habits, social intelligence that make employee good and compatible to work with; or “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people”. Soft skills are people skills, but somehow difficult to evaluate; they define how a person relates with others. They can be difficult to learn in school and more difficult to measure e.g decision making, teamwork, flexibility etc.
Organisations recognize and place high premium on these soft skills as research and experience has shown that these can be as important as employee’s performance on the job.
The workplace of today has evolved tremendously and job candidates, including those who intend to climb the managerial ladder must have these soft skills.
Lori Kocon, a Portland based Human Resource expert captured it when he said “… with businesses being done at an increasingly fast pace, employers also want people who are agile, adaptable and creative at solving problems “.
Here are soft skills you should have to excel in a workplace:
Outstanding Work Ethics
Employers seek to hire job candidates with great work ethic: who are punctual to work, focused and organised and time conscious in the execution of their assigned roles/ jobs while adhering strictly to instructions. They want employees that are self-motivated and dedicated to getting jobs done irrespective of the impending challenges; employees who would brace the odds and get positive results not complainers and excuse-givers – result-oriented.
Good Communication Skills
Hires should be able to communicate effectively to colleagues, customers (internal and external). They should be able to speak fluently with good diction, write uninterruptedly and be good listeners who seek and give feedback and relate well with the publics.
A Team Player
A potential job candidate should be able to work in a group/ team and believe in group synergy; should also accept delegated roles as assigned by the team without unnecessary excuses and complaints.
Exude Self-confidence – Not Arrogance
Hires should exude confidence on the job and inspire same on others and not show arrogance. He/ she should be able to contribute positively to the growth and development of the organization; ask important questions that require clarifications or provide answers/ solutions when necessary.
Of all the four basic communications skills – listening, speaking. reading and writing – listening is the most basic hence the great Philosopher, Socrates said “nature has given us two ears, but one tongue, to the end that we should hear more and see more than we speak”.
Good listening adds breath and validity to decision making as employee who do not listen misses the track.
Working well under Pressure
You should be able to work competently under pressure, handle stress and its accompanying factors, related deadline and crises – overcome these and come out with commendable results.
Positive Approach to Criticisms
Ability to accept and learn from criticism is a great virtue. Be open-minded and willing to learn and grow as an individual and pro.
Ability to Manage Time Effectively:
Time is invaluable, yet exhaustive and it is an irreplaceable resource – it passes and can never be reclaimed. Good use of time impacts directly on productivity and translates to effective self-management.
Time is of the essence and that was why P.B. Shelley, the great poet captured it clearly when he said, “ I am chained by time , and can not thence depart”.
You should be able to prioritise tasks and work on different projects at a time; determine the objectives or goals you intend to achieve, the functions and activities to perform and set a time-frame (commencement and completion date/ time for every stage).
Exhibit Positive Attitude
You should exhibit that positive and optimistic attitude while getting job done.
Adaptability and Flexibility
It is required of you to be open-minded to suggestions, adapt to new ideas, adjust to changed situations and challenges. Do not be fixated, believing that there is only one formula to resolving all questions; embrace change and be open to new thoughts and ideas.
You should be dependable to get jobs done with little or no supervision
Hires should be resourceful and be able to resolve problems likely to arise on the course of the job – accept challenges and problems arising therefrom and not run away or apportion blames.
These are some of the soft skills that will distinguish you and always know that it is the combination of your core/ hard and soft skills that will make you excel in a workplace.
When looking for job opportunities, you are advised to always focus on these soft skills as they set you apart from the crowd and open doors. They are skills that will attract potential employers and so, you should demonstrate them in your CV, interviews and when you are opportuned to come in contact with employers do not be shy to exhibit them.
Written by Agolo Uzorka – Vice President Eugene + George Consulting