When it came to hiring, technical skills used to always outweigh soft skills.
Recent surveys by interviewing skills training researchers at Hyper Island however, show that, even for knowledge workers, soft skills carry greater weight than hard skills. Over three-quarters of the more than 500 professionals surveyed found that “personality” was more important to the employers than even cultural fit or skill set. The conclusion was that personality, or soft skills, were of greater value to those making the hiring decisions than technical expertise.
This can make good hires even more difficult to identify. How do you measure the traits that were considered most desirable…drive, an open mind and creativity? Trying to predict behavior on the job (the soft skills that really matter) requires exceptional behavioral interviewing skills. To dig beneath the hard skills touted on the resume and the well prepared interviewee who knows all the “right” answers takes good, probing questions and careful listening.
Make sure your interviewers are really tuned in to all the unspoken clues that will help make the best hiring choice.