A very interesting Wall Street Journal blog highlights the importance of soft skills in highly technical roles. Here’s a quick summary:
For chief information officers, the talent enigma known as the skills gap has two components: technical skills and soft skills. A recent study commissioned by Capgemini SE and LinkedIn Inc. claims 54 percent of global organizations say the skills gap is “hampering their digital transformation efforts.” The report also says, “the talent gap in soft digital skills is more pronounced than in hard digital skills.” That makes sense. Soft skills are more nuanced than technical skills. And they are more difficult to measure.
Amazingly, according to Joseph Fuller, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, “Forty-nine percent of all terminations are attributed to deficient soft skills, which by a factor of 2x, is the number one reason workers are fired.”
The Athens-based HR tech startup, Owiwi, is offering a game-based talent assessment platform that helps businesses measure soft skills of their applicants through immersive gaming. The company was launched in 2014 with the mission to apply gamification to human resources. Currently, Owiwi counts more than 30 employees, partners and consultants. The company is based in Greece, but also operates in several additional markets such as US, UK, Western Europe, and the Balkans. The client list of Owiwi’s SaaS-based HR platform includes global brands such as Turkcell, Coca-Cola, Leroy Merlin and L’Oreal. Read more.
Industry Week makes a great point: In the old days an engineer needed to understand what was asked—and deliver. Today, that same engineer is connected to a fluid network of many people with complex and varying demands and a much higher order of social capabilities are required for success.
Check out this nice post by Dr. Charles Handler, “The Truth About Game-based Talent Assessments”. Charles wisely observes that the answer to the question “should I invest in assessment games?” is “yes,” but be sure to do your homework and be realistic about what is possible.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, shared the No. 1 job skill American employees are lacking.
Can you guess what it is?
According to Weiner, “Somewhat surprisingly … interpersonal skills is where we’re seeing the biggest imbalance”. He describes soft skills as “critical”, especially in jobs like sales development and project management.
Read more here.
Can soft skills be developed? This recent Forbes article provides some answers.
One thing is certain, recruiters and employers have been increasingly recognizing the importance of soft skills and have been focusing talent identification efforts on soft (rather than technical skills).
Whether soft skills are more a function of training & development (T&D) or recruitment & selection (R&S), organizations need more effective tools for evaluating soft skills.