Soft skills: Why are they so important?

July 12, 2019


Carole Auvinet has many years of recruitment experience both in France and Canada. She moved to Canada in 2016 and has been living in Toronto and Vancouver. She loves helping people understand cultural differences and reach their career goals.

Whether you are a newcomer, looking for employment, or just curious, you might be interested in learning more about soft skills.

When it comes to employment, we have two essential and complementary sets of skills:

Hard skills (also called technical skills) and soft skills (also called transferable skills). When two candidates both have the necessary technical skills, soft skills will often make the difference in favor of one over the other. Soft skills are a critical component of professional success.

Let’s define the soft skills and discuss their importance in Canadian work culture.

Soft Skills, What Are They?

Soft skills are personal attributes that directly affect your relationships with other people, they are interpersonal skills that enable you to succeed in the workplace – they are essential for all types of jobs and industries. Transferable skills often involve emotional intelligence and empathy, making them more complicated to teach or explain. Soft skills usually need work, and they take the effort to learn.

Soft skills can be interpersonal, communication, behavioral, and organizational skills. They can include or relate to traits like being self-aware, trustworthy, virtuous, and adaptable; abilities like critical thinking, initiative, confidence, conflict resolution, handling criticism, time management, leadership, and so on.

Employers are looking whether you can get along with others, deal with conflict, and handle yourself professionally. Some of the most praised soft skills that they are looking for would relate to your communication, presentation, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

Why Are Soft Skills Important?

  • A competitive advantage for your career success

It is often said that hard skills will get you an interview, but you need soft skills to get and keep the job. When you get the interview, the employer has already determined that you could have the necessary technical skills for the job. What they need to know now is if you would be an excellent fit for their organization or not. Soft skills are closely linked with a person’s character and have little to do with knowledge; as a result, they are quite challenging to develop. A person with the right soft skills has the potential to acquire any hard skills they may lack. Soft skills are crucial to building relationships and creating opportunities for advancement.

  • A must for business success

Soft skills are definitely essential to find, attract, and retain clients. Often customer service is what influences the choice of customers to use a particular business, and the interaction between the customers and employees are vital. An organization needs its employees to communicate efficiently and effectively with its customers so it can survive in an increasingly competitive world. On the other hand, a lack of soft skills could limit the potential, or even lead to the downfall of the business.

How Can You Develop Your Soft Skills?

Where to start? Recognizing and acknowledging the areas in which you need to improve is the first step. Once you’ve got an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, you should create a plan of action for improvement – or ask us for insights! Although soft skills might not be natural to develop, you can definitely improve your skills by taking personal development courses, challenging yourself to take on new tasks, or taking part in networking events. Be confident, the majority of soft skills are bolstered by optimism and enthusiasm.

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