Sticky Notes: Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

The soft skills gap is not a household term like the technical skills gap, but it should be because its impact is monumental.

The soft skills gap is not a household term like the technical skills gap, but it should be because its impact is monumental. The many soft skills—such as interpersonal communication, good work habits, and attitude—are where even the most technically proficient employees in any field can go terribly wrong—or incredibly right. The cliché is that people get hired because of their hard skills, but people get fired because of their soft skills. Here are five steps to ensure new hires have the needed soft skills:

Step 1: For every position, build a profile and job description that includes both the key hard and soft skills for that role.

Step 2: Look for talent from sources well known for the strong soft skills you need.

Step 3: Include your high-priority soft skills behaviors in your employer branding and recruitment campaign messaging.

Step 4: Build a selection process that places a heavy emphasis on high-priority soft skills.

Step 5: Dedicate about half of your new hire onboarding and up-to-speed training to spelling out high standards and clear expectations for high-priority soft skill behaviors.

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Bruce Tulgan is a best-selling author and CEO of RainmakerThinking, the management research, consulting, and training firm he founded in 1993. All of his work is based on 27 years of intensive workplace interviews and has been featured in thousands of news stories around the world. His newest book, “The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done”( Harvard Business Review Press) is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major booksellers. Follow Tulgan on Twitter @BruceTulgan or visit his Website at: rainmakerthinking.com.