- Most Americans (75%) would hire a candidate equipped with soft skills but lacking experience or qualifications when the perfect candidate is nowhere to be found, a new survey from Yoh revealed. According to data collected by the international talent and outsourcing company, the preferred candidate is enthusiastic and open to learning, has excellent personal, communication and time management skills and is highly dependable and reliable. Only 13% of respondents said they would most likely hire candidates who have the desired experience and qualifications but lack such soft skills. Slightly more than 12% said they would most likely keep a position open until they find the perfect candidate.
- The survey also found that in the absence of a perfect candidate, women were more likely (77%) than men (72%) to choose someone who isn't experienced or qualified but has soft skills; younger adults (ages 18-34) were more likely to choose experience and qualifications over personal skills; college graduates were more likely than those with less education to choose soft skills over experience and qualifications; and those with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more were more likely (78%) than those with annual household incomes of less than $50,000 (71%) to select candidates with soft skills over those with the right experience.
- "These results say two very important things about today's ultra-competitive job market," Emmett McGrath, President of Yoh, said in a statement. "One is that having the right experience and technical skills for a job is not enough — job candidates also need to fit in culturally and have non-technical skills in order to succeed." He added that the talent landscape has become more complex and therefore organizations that take a creative, strategic approach to hiring will rise to the top.
Most jobs require some hard skills, experience or qualifications, which could range from technical knowledge to a previous job in the industry to a specialized degree. A recent LinkedIn study found that soft skills are widely in demand because virtually all workers need them to get work done. Interpersonal skills, communication, leadership, time-management and other soft skills are uniquely human skills that make way for teamwork and collaboration.
The Yoh study correctly pointed out that perfect candidates are hard to find. Although most hiring managers want candidates who can come in and "hit the ground running," HR professionals understand that most new hires have a learning curve to master before they can perform their jobs well and that training can sometimes make up for the skills candidates lack.
The tight labor market presents tough hiring challenges for employers. But by removing the pressure of trying to find perfect candidates, and by rethinking their hiring strategies, employers are more likely to fill openings with suitable hires.