If you are on a job search right now, you have probably noticed that employers’ standards have gotten higher - thе job ads are becoming demanding. Candidates are required to present some solid competence in their chosen area a.k.a. their hard skills. That is, learned abilities, acquired and enhanced through practice, repetition, and education. Skills that one can observe and measure. Some of the most in-demand skills for 2020 according to a recent LinkedIn study are: blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, UX design and others. The need for technological expertise has been rising ever since 2002. However, a shift in the demand for skills is expected in the next 10-15 years. As workers interact with ever smarter machines, the demand for soft skills is beginning to surge. The process of automatization is inevitable in almost every industry. While machines are taking over basic cognitive tasks, the need for character traits such as creativity, persuasion and collaboration will get higher.
Recruiters are reporting difficulties in selecting candidates with the necessary soft skills. Some of the main problematic areas are: critical thinking, creativity and ability to deal with complexity. It is true that the new generations are and will be devoting a substantial amount of time in training and acquiring certificates (LinkedIn’s newsfeed in a nutshell). Everyone is racing and trying to catch up on with the relentless world we live in. Truth is, nobody can jog with the speed of the world. What you CAN do is shed light on your inner capabilities and think about what makes you stand out. Being the perfect candidate goes far beyond completing that super difficult task that took you a week.
“You can’t embed code in people and expect them to act in a certain way,” shares Bilyana, one of our Senior Recruitment Consultants.
For the 3 years she has worked at BICA Services, Bili has seen many, and I mean, many candidates. We’re talking about the three zero’s area. She has witnessed a decent amount of those applicants get rejected on a personal level, despite their proven knowledge and experience. This is one of the reasons why interviews are getting longer, she says.
“Employers can easily test your technical skills. Are you able, however, to comminucate that knowledge to junior developers? Are you a teamplayer? Can you evaluate your performance objectively?”
Soft skills is what distincts a qualified candidate from one who would exceed expectations by putting extra effort into all of his/hers professional relationships.
In IT, businesses are often on a deadline. They would sometimes hire a technically qualified person to complete a certain project, without focusing too much on what their energy brings to the company. Don’t get me wrong - hard skills are crucial. You can’t even pass the screening test without them. However, if you are unable to communicate with your team, show empathy and listen to others, you’ll most probably not be there for long.
Personality and emotions are hardwired in each of us, we can’t disregard them. However, we can choose how to read those emotions and decide how they will affect us. Growing your CV skills takes time and effort. So does emotional intelligence. Both paths are different, yet somewhat similar - you learn from experience and your own internal drive to improve every day. Understanding the importance of EI is realizing your true potential. That includes - being self-aware, motivated, willing to improve your social skills, self-regulating your own emotions and showing empathy.
Putting these 5 pillars together mindfully into action will not only improve your life over time but also have a positive impact on those around you, both in your personal and professional life.