During a staff selection processThe professionals responsible for choosing the right person for the site perform a full assessment of that person. For this they are based on the analysis of their CV and the interview with the candidate who has stopped.
But this assessment is not just about their education or work experience, but the skills that differentiate that person from others are increasingly important. They are called “technical skills” and “soft skills”. but what do and differentiate these skills?
“Soft skills” and “hard skills” in the world of work
Although “technical skills” and “soft skills” are acquired throughout life and not only in the fields of education or regulated training, they are put forward in the world of work, in particular. in personnel selection processes and in the development of professional tasks.
1. “Difficult skills”
By “technical skills” we mean all the knowledge acquired through regulated pedagogical training, as well as through professional experience. These skills will likely be taught in academic settings.
Usually the person learns “technical skills” in the classroom, through the use of books or other materials., Or at work by constantly repeating their task. We can say that technical skills are all those specific skills that allow you to perform a certain task or a certain job.
Finally, these skills are easy to quantify, so they’re the ones that tend to stand out in resumes and cover letters. In addition, they are easily recognized by the people who make the selection of personnel.
Among the “hard skills”, we find:
- Academic diplomas or certificates
- Foreign language skills
- Typing skills
- Computer programming
- Handling of industrial machines
2. General skills or general skills
On another side, “Soft skills” are much more difficult to quantify and refer to as interpersonal skills and social that belongs to the person who opts for work. These soft skills are manifested in the different forms in which a person connects and interacts with others.
These skills are not acquired academically, but are acquired throughout a person’s life, on a daily basis. In addition, they are directly related to the concept of emotional intelligence and are conditioned by the personality of the person and the development of his social skills.
Here are some examples of “soft skills”:
- communication skills
Ability to persuade
- Talents for problem solving
- Time management
- work ethic
Main differences between them
Although the simple description of these allows us to get an idea of the main differences between “soft skills” and “technical skills”, there are three key differences between them that make them more or less important depending largely on the site you choose and the type of career you want to pursue.
1. Each of them requires different intelligences
Traditionally, being good at technical skills has been associated with overall intelligence level or IQ (CI), while being good at general skills requires further training or emotional intelligence.
2. “Technical skills” are considered the same in all companies.
“Technical skills” are skills where the rules or considerations tend to be the same in most businesses that require them.. In contrast, soft skills are abilities or skills that are viewed differently depending on the culture of the company and the people you work with.
3. They require different learning processes
As we have mentioned, “technical skills” can be acquired in schools, academies and universities. In other words, they start from a regulated training and there are different skill levels, as well as a pre-established path to learn in each of them.
Compared to, there is no standard path or procedure for acquiring interpersonal skills have “soft skills”. Most soft skills must be learned in contexts of interaction between people and almost always through trial and error.
However, there are many books and guides that allow people to know and practice the basics of social skills, although they are always conditioned by the personality of the subject.
Which are the most important?
The answer to this question will depend, to a large extent, on the job you aspire to and the career you plan to pursue.
There are three different types of careers which can be classified into the following categories:
1. Careers that require high “technical skills” and few “soft skills”
Like careers in the world of theoretical research. In this environment they are generally suitable for people with brilliant knowledge but who may not work well in a team or with other people.
2. Careers that require both skills
In this category are found most of the jobs. In them, workers must have knowledge related to their field, but also social skills that allow them to do their jobs effectively. An example of such careers is law, clinical psychology, or business administration.
3. Careers that require more “soft skills” than “technical skills”
In this group we can find jobs such as sales, sales or customer service; because their jobs are more dependent on the ability to communicate and connect with people, both as persuasion skills and quick problem solving.