Interpersonal, leadership, organisational and language skills are four highly valued soft skills, yet jobseekers often overlook their importance when applying for their next role, says recruiting experts Hays.
“Candidates tend to focus on the technical or hard skills required for a role and brush over the soft skills components of an employer’s wish list,” says Emma, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong and China. “Yet these soft skills are highly sought after by employers, who are typically looking for a candidate who not only possesses all the technical requirements needed to perform the role, but who can also bring these additional soft skills to the organisation.
“There is a shortage of candidates with the right technical skills as well as the additional soft skills that employers want in the candidate they will employ. Some employers are becoming more flexible in their requirements and will offer training to a candidate who is otherwise a good fit for the role. But others will hold out for a candidate that matches all their skill requirements – both hard and soft.
“That’s why it is important to promote your soft skills in your resume and in interviews with clear examples, and to seek out opportunities in your current role where you can improve upon these skills.”
According to Hays, the four soft skills that employers most commonly request are:
Interpersonal and communication skills: “Widely held as a key requirement, interpersonal and communication skills can include anything from being able to work efficiently as part of a team and build relationships, to the manner in which phone calls and emails are handled, to giving presentations in front of clients and management,” said Emma. “These skills are highly desirable, which is why we advise candidates to prepare examples before an interview to demonstrate your capabilities in this area.”
Team management and leadership skills: “These skills are repeatedly cited as being important to employers, yet talented individuals with these skills are in short supply across the board. For this reason we encourage candidates to attain these good employability skills. For example, you could volunteer to chair meetings, help run a team project or mentor a junior member of the team.”
Organisational skills: “Organisational skills are also commonly cited by employers as a soft skill they value and look for, but it is also a skill many candidates either lack or do not give enough attention to. There are plenty of ways you can demonstrate your organisational skills, from running events to breaking a large project down into manageable pieces or planning your busy workload to ensure all tasks get done on time.”
Language skills: “A common reoccurring theme amongst many sectors is the need for additional language skills. In a global economy, where English has become, more or less, lingua franca for business, having a decent grasp of the language is now a must. Alternatively, for those whose first language is English, being able to speak a second or third language with any ability has become a prized asset amongst employers.”
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.
As at 30 June 2011, Hays employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, Hays reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit of £114 million and placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments. 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.