Candidates, your ‘soft skills’ will make you stand out

August 26, 2019 3:29 pm Published by TeamRH

Today, businesses that take candidates’ soft skills into account within their recruitment process can no longer be counted on one hand. The time when candidates could completely rely on their qualifications or good work experience alone is gone. Candidates’ personality traits are becoming more and more interesting in the opinion of recruiters.

Did you know that for over half of recruiting businesses, soft skills are, from now on, decisive criteria in deciding to hire a candidate? In this way, a candidate’s social skills will set them apart from other candidates with identical qualifications or work experience, to the benefit of the candidate with the soft skills that the business is looking for.

A clear definition of soft skills: someone’s human skills and qualities, linked with the domain of emotional intelligence. These human qualities are formed over a long period of time and help to anticipate the candidate’s capacity to complete their induction well and fulfil their potential within a team.  Soft skills can be both personal and interpersonal. They are contrasted with ‘hard skills’, which are technical skills, and the candidate’s ability to execute specific tasks related to their role.

On average, 78% of recruiters claim to spend less than 1 minute reading each CV. However, in the case of a candidate’s personal or soft skills, the average recruiter would spend a greater amount of time analyzing them. Therefore, a candidate’s personality is becoming the most important criteria in the final selection stage, with over 90% of recruiters considering it a decisive feature. And it is often the job interview that is the all-important moment for the candidate.

According to a study published by Dell and l’Institut pour le futur in March 2017, 60% of jobs which will exist in 2030 have not yet been created and over 40% of jobs which exist now will have disappeared in 20 years. As the hard skills required for today’s jobs are destined to obsolescence, soft skills are becoming an essential feature for candidates; they cannot be replaced by a machine.

Following this, it has been established that, in around 10 years from now, there will be 5 key sought after skills in the working world: 1. Creativity, 2. Logic, 3. Emotional intelligence, 4. technological adaptability, and 5. The capacity for judgement. So, soft skills only!

Therefore, candidates must, from now on, consider their ‘hard skills’, or specific technical skills for their role, as a prerequisite for being offered an interview, and focus more on their soft skills if they really want to be offered the job.

So, candidates, you are probably wondering: how do I draw recruiters’ attention to my soft, or emotional, skills? Your CV, not yet destined to obsolescence, though soon it might be, remains the more important step to remember. Even if it is tricky to figure out what recruiters are looking for in terms of soft skills, highlighting your hobbies outside of work, your passions or your voluntary work can show traits which are just as attractive to them. However, be careful not to fall into the ‘trendy’ soft skills trap; include qualities which are specific to you and which are linked to your own personality and experiences.

During the interview, your attitude will be important, and will reveal, in part, your human qualities. Your conversations with the recruiter are great opportunities to demonstrate your soft skills in a face-to-face situation. Among others, maintaining eye contact with the interviewer and making sure not to interrupt them will translate your listening skills and ability to pay attention. Asking questions and showing interest in the business, the team, and the role, etc., demonstrate your humility and your ability to adapt.

Also, for over a third of recruiters, adaptability and agility are the most significant personal skills. Following these, in order: the ability to work in a team, organisation, motivation and the determination to get involved, empathy, open-mindedness, a willingness to take control of a situation, creativity, stress management, optimism and self-confidence.

Once a candidate has been recruited, their soft skills will become a real advantage for them in the business, allowing them to develop professionally within the company.

So, a piece of advice, dear candidates. Do not place all of your bets on your technical skills and instead highlight your soft skills in order to make a real difference to your application.


About TeamRH:

TeamRH, a recruitment firm in Paris, is a leading player in the legal and financial sector. We work with a national and international clientele, helping them to strive for a top performance. Our consultants benefit from an extensive knowledge of the market and of legal professions in order to better understand their task. We also offer Career & Life Coaching sessions (stress, demotivation, professional strategies to handle burn out).

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