All around the world we are experiencing a skills shortage in our workforce. This has become increasingly obvious in recruitment as roles that were “simple” now require advanced techniques to fill. However this is one set of skills that are becoming increasingly important and that is soft skills.
What are soft skills?
These are often described as “skills of the heart” and are a little hard to quantify compared to technical skills. There has been increasing focus on prioritising these fields. While some of these skills, such as empathy are innate, there are now other soft skills such as advanced conflict resolution that are honed and taught. Many of these now have recognised certificates.
What does this mean for you?
Recruiting is now likely to shift away from recruiting for a specific job. This is because many industries are undergoing automation and so the job being recruited for may not exist in a couple of years’ time. However this means recruiters are going to focus on the candidates and their soft skills. Recruiters will be looking for flexible candidates, ones with mentally agile minds. These are the candidates who will be able to adapt to new company requirements and upskill as needed.
How can you prepare for this?
As stated before, some of it is innate. You are either born with it or you are not. Never fear however, there are still plenty of soft skills that can be taught. Look for training classes that your company offers. Even if it doesn’t directly relate to what you are doing now, doing these courses will not only expand your own horizons but it will demonstrate your adaptability.
Traditionally these have been assessed with competency-based questions. But times are changing, and these questions are now becoming more in depth. There are many companies that are now integrating software into their soft skill interviews. Using data of thousands of people to compare your answers to. This is by no means a perfect solution yet but it does pay to be aware of this possibility during your job hunt.
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