Technical skills or Hard skills are technical knowledge or training that you gain through life experience including your career and education. They can be:
- Bilingual or multilingual
- Database management
- Software suite
- Statistical analysis
- Mobile development, etc.
Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, on your own and with others. Some of them are:
- Effective communication
- Critical thinking
- Willingness to learn
- Empathy, etc.
The key difference between hard skills and soft skills is how they are gained and put to use in the workplace. Hard skills are often gained through education or specific training. They include competencies like how to use a certain machine, software, or another tool. Soft skills are more often seen as personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people, or confront difficult situations.
PRERNA MEHTA (Chief of Ecosystem Development at the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network) mentions, it is important to possess both skills, without one of them your growth can become stagnant and you can get stuck among the people with low self-esteem with no desire of getting out of their comfort zone.
AMEER ALI (Award-Winning Book Author on Soft Skill Training) has used an excellent analogy to explain this:
“Hard Skills are like the Hardware in a Computer whereas Soft Skills could be compared to the Software in the same Computer. Without Hardware a Computer cannot work at all, but without the Software it cannot put forth high-value outputs.”
Why Are Employers Interested in Testing Your Problem-Solving Skills?
Effective problem-solving requires a combination of creative thinking and sound analytical skills. Employers look for hires who can demonstrate each of these skills in the workplace to deliver positive outcomes.
Mangers would far rather employ a member of staff who can take action to resolve a problem than someone who doesn’t act and relies on someone else to think of a solution.
Soft skills are essential to your career and as you search for jobs. While hard skills are necessary to successfully perform technical tasks in the job. Soft skills are necessary to create a positive and functional work environment. For this reason, employers often seek individuals who possess proven soft and hard skills. Some employers may prefer to select candidates who have a stronger set of soft skills, as soft skills are more difficult to develop.
In a Wall Street Journal survey of over 900 executives, 92% reported soft skills, including communication, curiosity, and critical thinking are as important as technical skills. However, 89% of those same executives reported they have a very difficult time finding hires with soft skills.
However, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective. A salesperson with a good knowledge of his products and market will have little success if he doesn’t have the interpersonal skills needed to close deals and retain clients. A business manager needs to be able to listen to employees, have good speaking skills, and be able to think creatively.
An employee may have an exceptional command over his concreter skills but if she/he lacks a commitment towards her/his job or employer or lacks loyalty neither the individual nor the employer or company will ever be able to progress. All careers require at least some soft skills to make the hard skills valuable.
Competence and expertise of the subject are the most important elements which could secure a dignified job to a candidate. Without proper training, degree, and certification an individual will never get a job but the fact is, securing the job is only the first step, it actually begins the journey but to be retained in the journey and making a peaceful, desirable, and healthy atmosphere soft skills are essential.
Just like technical skills, soft skills can definitely be developed. However, they do require a different learning approach. At Gurukul Mantra, we ensure the proper inculcation of these skills in the most effective manner. It all starts with understanding your own self along with the right kind of guidance. With a fair amount of introspection, some patience, and a will to improve, you can develop soft skills which can help bring out the best in all the hard skills you have learned over the years. Having said that, it is evident that both the skills go hand in hand and are equally important.