Why Do Soft Skills Matter?

How To Hire For Soft Skills

Assessing soft skills might be the toughest part for a hiring manager to master. But the reality is that making sure a candidate fits beyond their technical abilities is crucial to hiring the best person for the job. (And you avoid wasting time and money!)

Evaluating job candidates is an art, and it takes more than just algorithms and checklists. A Forbes interview with Mark Murphy asserts that, while technical skills are easy to measure in the hiring process, the most effective measures of a candidate’s potential success are quite hard to gauge.

The worst hiring process selects someone with technical skills but no way of fitting into your organization. The hiring managers we’ve worked with would much rather have someone who fits well and only hits 95 percent of the required skillset than one who is 100 percent on paper and a team-killer in person.

If your new hire’s style doesn’t fit, the company will suffer.

Murphy argues that a drive to learn and willingness to own their mistakes make candidates much more desirable. At Agency a la Carte, we agree, and often point out that management and work style are underestimated requirements. Intense workplaces do not benefit from those who seek joy and camaraderie above quantifiable results; nor do teams who function primarily on synergy and creative flow benefit from rigid, unbending candidates. Both those candidates have a brilliant future in a company that understands them, but they both stand to fail in the wrong work environment.

There’s a lot to be said for bringing creativity to data-driven cultures and rule-following to lax cultures. But only if the variance from the culture is slight enough that nobody is made uncomfortable with the new addition. Challenging toward growth is good. Challenging toward dissatisfaction and anger is not.

How do you toe this line? At Agency a la Carte, we’ve been mastering this art for 20+ years. Tell us a bit about yourself and we can connect to determine which culture fit is the best match for your marketing or creative job opening.