Imagine you’re looking at a job in your organization and reflecting on the tasks the person occupying the position has to carry out: to do the job, the candidate needs to be able to run diagnostic tests, set up online employee profiles, and install new technology. Sounds like some basic tasks a technology professional, for example, might have to do, right? Sure, these are some of the hard skills—specific, teachable, and easily defined and measured—but hard skills aren’t the whole picture. Other parts of the job that may be overlooked, like communicating with co-workers or being able to work under pressure, are equally important.
Enter soft skills. Soft skills are the attributes, traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success in a job. They can include communication, creative thinking, decision-making, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking, among others.