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Hire Thoughts: Spread of AI Means Harder Push for Softer Skills

Welcome to the first edition of Yoh’s newest newsletter, Hire Thoughts. In each edition, we’ll take a look at some of the latest trends and game-changing technology shaping the state of the hiring industry. Then, we’ll share some insights about what these changes mean for employers, workers and job seekers alike.

We’ll keep it short, simple and to the point. It’s too easy to miss out on all the new happenings and technological innovations in today’s highly competitive world of talent, so we’ll make sure the most important (or most overlooked) trends are always covered. Which brings us to our first Hire Thought.

As almost everybody is aware, the hiring industry is at a bit of a tipping point. Never before has highly skilled talent been in such demand. It’s made finding qualified workers quite the challenge, and the rise of automation and artificial intelligence is making it even tougher.

According to our 2018 survey, 90% of Americans say AI will change the workplace in some form. And they were right. As this new tech reshapes entire industries, hiring experts agree there is one element more critical than ever in the workplace – soft skills (i.e. skills like time management, dependability, communications, teamwork, etc.).

According to LinkedIn’s annual survey of hiring professionals, the 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 92 percent of talent professionals and hiring managers say that that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills (i.e. technical, specific job skills such as programming knowledge, certifications, and computer skills) in today’s organizations.

The rise of AI continues to change the industry, and having hard skills is no longer enough to stand out in an organization. As time goes on, certain specialized hard skills are poised to become less valuable or fade away entirely as new technological skills take their place. Meanwhile, soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, and collaboration will always be valuable.

But as anyone who’s been responsible for hiring or works in the talent industry knows, “bad hires” typically suffer from poor soft skills rather than a lack of appropriate technical skills. In fact, 89 percent of talent pros and hiring managers say just that. Only 11 percent of bad hires don’t have the requisite hard skills for any given job. Assuming technology trends continue, finding someone with the right soft skills will become even more essential.

Unfortunately, finding the right soft skills is easier said than done. Just 41 percent of LinkedIn’s survey audience say they have a formal process to access soft skills, and 57 percent say they struggle to assess soft skills accurately.

One Hire Thought

In an age where technical skills still reign, identifying soft skills isn’t simple. But it’s not impossible. Start by determining what soft skills are necessary in your organization, your department, and in this specific role. Then, standardize your interview questions and consider other outside tools to help you identify soft skills in candidates earlier in the hiring process.

For workers, identifying which soft skills you have – and which you need to improve – goes a long way towards making you a better fir for your next job (or even your current job).

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