Bingo! The buzz words just keep on rolling in: authentic, freedom, buy-in, empower. From a recruitment perspective, the hottest topic in town is the trend towards assessing candidates in terms of hard skills and soft skills.
While the terminology is on the rise, there is nothing new in what it represents, which is just another way to differentiate between the tangible ability (hard skills) and the intangible personality attributes (soft skills) of potential employees.
With a number of articles touting the utmost importance of soft skills over technical (hard) skills, it's a growing concern that technical know how could potentially be sacrificed to smooth talking charmers as we move towards a cult of personality.
Hiring a candidate with stronger soft skills can have merit in creating team harmony, building relationships or sales. However, people who are hired to undertake hard skills will not require the same level of soft skills, so it's important to keep perspective. For example, a web developer will use the same code to complete their daily tasks (hard skills) but they may not need to be a confident speaker (soft skill) as they may not have to present their work to clients.
Developing a sound methodology that supports your recruiting process will lead to a hiring process based on the correct set of skills as opposed to a desired set of skills. Here are a few tips to help assess the importance of soft skills during the recruiting process.
What level of communication is required for this role to function successfully?
How much of the role is focussed on tasks compared to interacting with people?
Will the role have to deal with conflict and problem solving?
These high level questions make a great base for building a job description and a successful recruiting process.