The importance of hard skills vs soft skills is an ongoing debate, even though they are both crucial capabilities an employee should hold. How do you determine which holds more weight?
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between both skillsets and which are more important in the workplace.
What Are Hard Skills?
Indeed define hard skills as a specific set of technical competencies that you need to accomplish the duties and responsibilities of a particular job. They are abilities that can be quantified and measured through certification, degrees or previous experience.
Although typically associated with technical proficiency and expertise, hard skills are present in many different sectors and are dependent on the job role itself. For example, its compulsory to hold hard skills in areas such as engineering, medicine and computer programming.
Why Are Hard Skills Important?
Hard skills are a sign of qualified knowledge and efficiency. They are particularly important within industries that prioritise technology and innovation, where the rapid change of pace and rising demand for expertise in cutting-edge equipment is required. Not only this, but the ability to keep up with the technological advancements and developments.
What Are Soft Skills?
Indeed define soft skills as interpersonal and behavioural skills that help employees work well with other people and develop their careers. Often recognised as personality traits and behaviours, they are identified by how individuals interact with each other, how they manage relationships and navigate complex social dynamics.
Exhibiting effective communication, empathy, leadership and conflict resolution are examples of soft skills which can ultimately be transferable across different job roles and industries.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Although these may seem like skills you must naturally hold, they are teachable too. Many employees embark on training courses to help enhance these soft skills as they contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment. They are especially important for teamwork and collaboration which is paramount for every business.
Which is Preferred: Hard Skills vs Soft Skills?
The reality is that both hard skills and soft skills are essential for success in the workplace. Although they are seen as two separate skillsets, they actually complement one another and can set individuals apart from their peers, helping create a better workplace for everyone.
In order for employees to thrive in their careers and make meaningful contributions to their organisations, it’s vital they strike the right balance between hard skills vs soft skills. Holistic skillsets are being increasingly recognised amongst all employers and the most successful professionals are those that possess these well-rounded credentials alongside the willingness to enhance their abilities.