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Soft skills: what are they and which ones do companies value the most?

A professional is more than what he shows on his resume. Hence, those responsible for recruiting personnel also worry about certain personal characteristics or competencies, such as a candidate’s ability to resolve situations. These are part of soft skills, a concept that is heard more frequently in organizations of all types.

If you don’t know what soft skills are and which ones are most valued by companies today, at UIE we invite you to continue reading this article.

What are soft skills?

It is a set of social qualities that are required to be successful in any job and in life.

They are generally directly related to the personality traits and mindset of the individual. This is the case of empathy, leadership skills and the ability to adapt within a changing environment.

The concept has been gaining ground in recent years, especially in personnel selection processes. According to the study Soft Skills 4 talent, conducted by the ManpowerGroup company, these skills are essential to face the challenges that arise in various businesses.

The study, which involved the participation of more than 3,000 people from 8 European countries, determined that candidates in a selection process must have some skills.

Among the main skills, the following stand out:

  • Problem solving
  • Goal orientation
  • Collaboration

What is the difference between soft skills and hard skills?

As already mentioned, soft skills are those psychological (non-technical) skills that allow a worker to be more productive and contribute more value to the organization.

For their part, hard skills represent the “hard” abilities of the candidates. That is, the technical knowledge that allows a worker to master a specific area or process. For example, if you are a programmer, a hard skill is your expertise in the Javascript or Python language. Broadly speaking, they are specific skills that allow you to carry out a specific task.

Hard skills are also important because they show how much time a professional has invested in their career. Therefore, Human Resources (HR) teams must pay special attention to these skills, as they determine the candidate’s area of specialization. In addition, they show whether the employee has sufficient technical experience to function successfully in the job.

Some of the most important hard skills in the labor market are:

  • Foreign language skills
  • Knowledge of Big Data and programming languages
  • Project management
  • Advanced Excel
  • Operation of machines and systems

What are the soft skills most valued by companies?

In a selection process, companies prioritize candidates who have the following soft skills:

  • Problem solving: It refers to the ability to identify a problem and solve it. To achieve this, you will have to be very creative, in addition to being collaborative with the people who are in the resolution process. This skill was the most valued by 69% of Human Resources managers surveyed, according to the aforementioned ManpowerGroup study.
  • Team work: The ability to collaborate with other colleagues and pursue common goals is one of the most appreciated soft skills. With this skill, companies see that you can work together without weighing your particular interests.
  • Emotional intelligence:Emotions influence daily routine. For that reason, it is crucial that a person learns to control them. That’s what emocional intelligence is for, which is defined as the set of skills that a person acquires to manage their emotions and tolerate frustrations.
  • Effective communication: The ability to convey clear ideas and persuade the audience is key in an organization. Executives who have this soft skill are able to explain complex problems in the simplest way. In this way, collaborative and respectful relationships between clients and colleagues are encouraged.
  • Resilience: A resilient worker must be able to adapt to adversity and know how to manage it positively.. Without a doubt, an aspect that companies need today.
  • Efficient time management: With this skill, individual life and that of organizations are managed. It is the way people use time to maximize their productivity and achieve certain goals. The key to achieving this is to prioritize the most important tasks.

In an increasingly competitive labor market, soft skills help you differentiate yourself from the competition. Therefore, we invite you to take a look at our training offer and our university model, which is 100% oriented towards developing your soft skills and helping you advance on your path to professional success

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