Deanna Hartley| Career Builder
A peanut butter sandwich doesn’t sound terribly appetizing, and neither does a plain jelly sandwich. That’s because both peanut butter and jelly are equally important to make a great sandwich. Similarly, as it turns out, soft skills and hard skills are both important ingredients to make a great candidate — you just can’t (or shouldn’t) have one without the other.
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the vast majority of employers (77 percent) believe that soft skills — less tangible skills associated with one’s personality, such as a positive attitude — are just as important as hard skills — skills that are learned to perform a specific job function and can be measured, such as operating a computer program.
Nearly 1 in 5 (16 percent) stated that soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.
According to the survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers nationwide, these were the 10 most popular soft skills companies say they look for when hiring:
- Strong work ethic
- Positive attitude
- Team-oriented attitude
- Organization; ability to manage multiple priorities
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Effective communication skills
What does that mean for you?
If you don’t already, you need to start taking a more holistic view when evaluating candidates, and not just rely on making a decision based on what they look like on paper. Keep in mind that you can train employees to bring their hard skills up to par. As some put it: Hire for attitude and train for skill.