Difference between soft skills and hard skills/relationship/importance

The terms soft skills and hard skills refer to two types of specific skills. The English word skill has a Portuguese translation for “ability”.

hard skills

The hard skills , long, were the main source of analysis of a professional. It’s not hard to understand why. By nature, they are professional skills that can be measured in some way. Because of this, they are easily identifiable, whether by presenting a diploma or proficiency in a foreign language.

Hard skills, therefore, are skills that can be easily learned (and taught) through courses, training , workshops, etc. Simply put, we can conceptualize them as the technical skills of a professional. So, let’s look at some examples:

  • knowledge in a foreign language;
  • University graduate;
  • technical courses;
  • masters and doctorates;
  • knowledge in the operation of machines and tools;
  • computer skills.

Because they are easily recognizable, this information is often found on any candidate’s resume. Obviously, the most relevant hard skills depend on the company’s needs and the type of position to be held by the professional.

Technical skills are certainly the easiest to analyze. However, with professional development, they no longer have the same differential appeal as before. Today, soft skills receive a lot of importance in the selection process. Let’s understand them!

Soft Skills

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are more difficult to quantify and recognize. These are socio-behavioral skills, directly linked to a candidate’s mental skills and the ability to deal positively with emotional factors.

Soft skills are difficult to understand as they involve more than one course or certificate. They cover a person’s entire psychosocial experience, which also makes them more complicated skills to teach or assimilate.

Its importance in the evaluation of an employee has grown thanks to the paradigm shift that has taken place within companies in recent years. It is useless to have technically trained professionals who have difficulty dealing with pressure or collaborative work environments. Let’s check out some examples of soft skills:

Is there a relationship between these skills?

Soft and hard skills have their differences and a similarity : both can be developed.

You might wonder: it is evident that hard skills can be learned , but how is it possible to do the same with soft skills?

We’ll explain.

Of course, nothing replaces a natural gift we have . However, a professional who is not naturally resilient can learn to be lifelong , do you agree?

For that, he will have to study about this skill and try to apply it in his personal and professional life . And that ‘s exactly what professionals need to start doing .

Also according to the study cited in the introduction, the fourth industrial revolution will further change the profile of the workforce .

The reason is simple: in a scenario in which machines reproduce repetitive tasks, previously performed by humans, natural abilities will be the “wild card” to hold a position in companies .

For example, a professional might have multiple certifications in the HR field , such as a recruitment and selection specialist.

However, all the time, technology launches virtual tools that quickly and efficiently meet the various demands of this area.

However, the machine will not be able to meet the need to show creativity in a given project, listen carefully to an employee, demonstrate empathy with co-workers or give feedback respecting the feelings of others.

Among the most sought after soft skills will be critical thinking, which is the ability to see a challenge from different and unusual angles.

Soft Skills hard skills
Definition behavioral skills Technical abilities
Characteristics Behavioral skills used in interpersonal relationships that can positively affect results Technical skills that can be validated through objective testing or the presentation of a course completion certificate
  • Schedule
  • Translation
  • Accounting
  • Math
  • Machine operation

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