Soft skills are critical for career success, even in tech
Success = 85% soft skills and 15% hard skills
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center have all concluded that 85 per cent of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15 per cent of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).
Soft skills raining brings substantial returns on investment - both companies and workers benefit.
They found that a 12-month soft skills training program that focused on communication, problem solving and decision-making, time and stress management, financial literacy, legal literacy and social entitlements, and execution excellence delivered substantial returns.
Editor of HRM magazine Amanda Woodward: "It will be important to have a portfolio of skills, and investing in ourselves and our development will be crucial to being employed, and living the lives we want. Keeping pace with changing technology will be crucial to this, but so will the soft skills that robots can't do: these will be increasingly sought after."
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center has concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). This research finds its beginning with the work of Charles Riborg Mann from a Study of Engineering Education in 1918. There is a span of almost 100 years since Mann published his findings. But, what have we done with this information learned so long ago?
In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998.
The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.
“Anything that is routine or repetitive will be automated,” said Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics, in a session on Saving Economic Globalization from Itself. She also spoke of the importance of “the soft skills, creative skills. Research skills, the ability to find information, synthesise it, make something of it.”
When it comes to taking soft skills seriously training should be top of the agenda for a business that wants to promote individual and organisational excellence. Training and continued personal development are at the core of EY’s values, and while hard skills are developed through the firm’s professional qualifications, on-the-job training and global learning curriculum, soft skills are given equal attention through schemes such as mentoring, coaching and counselling (career development and performance reviews).