We keep hearing why does an engineer need to learn English and presentation, why does a mathematician need expression skills or why does an accountant have to be presentable?
While the answer to these may be obvious, even more often we at KaryaMitr.com get questions like why does a mechanic, or a chef, or delivery executives need to be able to express themselves, or have knowledge of English or the main local language or be presentable.
While we understand why people feel this way, we also see employers are increasingly hiring candidates who possess necessary soft-skills to interact with customers or within teams.
Although, soft skills are seemingly not an inherent part of many skill-based technical jobs or labour intensive roles, very very basic soft skills are something a job seeker must have to not get a job or perform well or to move up .
While employers may not state it upfront in certain skill-based job specifications, it’s often the unsaid reason for rejections.
So, what really are these “very, very basic” soft skills?
To put it simply, soft skills refer to a person’s ability to present themselves, interact with people and work in a team, in an effective manner. The key word here being, effective.
Effective manner simply refers to the degree of efficiency a person is able to interact and communicate with their co-workers, customers and clients. While everyone can communicate in some way especially in familiar settings like with friends & family, to do it effectively it takes some practice and that’s hard-work.
Now to get down to why employers look for soft skills while hiring !
Recent trends show that job seekers who possess a certain degree of soft skills and are willing to learn, have a higher rate of employability than someone simply relying on their qualifications and skills. In fact, often qualifications may not ensure jobs, if you refer to a recent survey by LinkedIn which suggests that top recruiters are focussing on soft skills : https://www.inc.com/michael-schneider/soft-skills-are-key-to-landing-your-dream-job-according-to-a-linkedin-survey-heres-how-employers-are-assessing-them-today.html
Let us say, for example, two people Ram and Shyam, have almost the exact same qualifications, skills and level of experience. In fact, Ram has a little more qualifications than Shyam. However, between the two, Shyam possesses soft skills and is more presentable. Both of them were called in for an interview, Ram went in first and them Shyam. Both were asked the same questions by the same interviewer. However, only Shyam got the job. Why was this?
This is simply because, despite Ram’s skills and qualifications, he could not express himself properly, while Shyam on the other hand, impressed the interviewer with not only his knowledge, but also his ability to interact and present himself.9 times out of 10, an interviewer or employer will hire a candidate like Shyam instead of Ram. Not just because Shyam spoke in a better manner or that he was more presentable, but because Shyam was also able to highlight everything he could bring to the table.
In the modern world, every employee of any firm, whether big or small, is a representative of the firm. This is especially true for smaller start-ups and firms because they have a lot to prove. And because firms now realise that their employees will be their representative to the customer or end-user, they prefer to hire people with not just skills, but also the ability to impress people and simultaneously prove their ability to work effectively in a team.So, soft-skills are the new X-Factor when it comes to getting hired ! Yet, the question remains as to why semi and unskilled workers need to have soft skills.
Well, for one, it straightaway impresses the employer. If you can immediately impress the employer, we don’t need to tell you how useful that is. And, one of the biggest plus points is that it differentiates you from your competition. Since a lot of these jobs require client interaction e.g. counter sales staff in a store or café and team-work e.g. workers in an assembly line, the ability to express oneself is an X-Factor.
Any place or job where either client interaction or teamwork is an essential element, or even a minor aspect, needs to have employees with soft skills. Even managing your shop supervisor or area lead is a soft-skill !
While some are born with an innate ability to express themselves and impress people easily, most of us have to practise and learn the skills. With so many free online videos and tutorials, learning these may seem hard initially, but it is by no means impossible.
A delivery boy who speaks and behaves properly in front of the customer, not only gets themselves a great review, but also helps in the increase of company’s goodwill. Similarly, a mechanic at an auto garage who can express themselves and communicate properly with a client and their team, will not only be more effective, but also bring in more business.
Such is the power of soft-skills that recent trends in employment industry have highlighted the need for job seekers with discernible soft skills.
We at Karyamitr.com understand these trends, that is why we implore and encourage job seekers to try and learn about the job at KaryaPedia and also soft skills and realise their importance. Watch-out for this space for more on soft-skills and making a success out of interviews.