The Soft Skills Gap is Growing

The Soft Skills Gap is Growing

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal speaks to the need for, and the shortage of, soft skills in the workplace.  Finally, an article that addresses the stunningly important need for soft skills in the workplace goes front and center. Hard skills, (the ability to create beautiful user interfaces with JavaScript for example) will get you the job, but soft skills will help you keep the job. The term soft skills refers to qualities like critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication. They can be difficult to assess from traditional job application materials, but can be essential to your organization’s success. More people fail in the workplace due to a lack of soft skills than hard skills. This is because hard skills, in so many cases, can be taught, whereas it’s much harder to teach soft skills. As a result, talent acquisition professionals should pay close attention to the candidates’ soft skills, and consider them just as seriously as hard skills. The Wall Street Journal reports: As the labor market tightens, competition has heated up for workers with the right mix of soft skills, which vary by industry and across the pay spectrum—from making small talk with a customer at the checkout counter, to coordinating a project across several departments on a tight deadline. Let’s be honest with each other. Hard skills matter. Medicinal chemists, software architects, and directors of infrastructure security require certain hard skills in order to be successful. The bottom line is they will not be effective in their role if they do not possess some very definitive hard skills. However, as The Wall Street...
Stat of the Week: Filling Your Email With Garbage

Stat of the Week: Filling Your Email With Garbage

While email remains vital for communications, Aberdeen research shows that the majority of email is stuff you don’t want in your inbox. This can range from spam, to phishing attempts to malware infested messages. All of which makes keeping email safe that much harder. From the Aberdeen Report The Last Mile in IT Security: Changing User Behaviors...
Diction in Marketing: Don’t Fall on Your Own Words

Diction in Marketing: Don’t Fall on Your Own Words

In marketing, sales, PR, and other communication-oriented roles, our jobs revolve around what we have to say. That’s why the old adage, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” is so important. If we’re trying to build trust or meaningful business relationships, for example, using cold, generic buzzwords can drain the life and impact from even the most genuine messages. In other scenarios, casual yet cliché phrases can come pre-loaded as pet peeves to certain people, but such semantic snafus aren’t unavoidable or irreparable. There are a few easy sanity checks we can use to ensure the words we choose carry the weight we intend, and even when a word or phrase rubs someone the wrong way, we can still stand behind what we’ve said. Business Idiom Idiosyncrasies: We don’t always “have the bandwidth” to think about it, or we may be too busy “killing our numbers” to notice, but outside of the office, business speak can sound pretty weird. If such idioms or phrases carry special meaning to us – like something a valued mentor would say, or a common expression from a friend or family member – these words can still carry weight. Even if you were to get called out on the phrase, your backstory behind why you use it can actually strengthen the connection you’re aiming to establish. On the other hand, though, if you use a generic phrase just to fill space, or because it’s what everyone else is saying, you don’t have much room for redemption if your diction comes into question. Case in Point “Pick Your Brain” Post by...