Hard Skills — are the technical competencies related to the right utilization of a certain program or instrument. Hard skills are crucial for a career because they increase the quality of work and the cost of professionals on the job market.
Every job requires a certain number of hard skills. For example, a marketer needs to know SMM, SEO marketing, and Google Analytics. The programmer should be able to code in various languages (Python, C+). The surgeon should know how to sanitize the wound and suture it.
Characteristics of Hard Skills
The hard skills are simple to verify. They can be confirmed by a diploma, certificate, work experience, or test. The employer may check the hard skills by asking to perform the test assignment to demonstrate them.
The standard procedures for hard skills rarely change. For example, the lawyer should know the laws or the order of judicial proceedings. However, individuals should monitor the state of the job market to know which hard skills are in high demand and which ones are outdated. Often, the required hard skills are listed in the job instructions.
Any professional has several hard skills that they apply during their daily work. If a skill is missing, they may take a course or training. The professional needs to regularly practice the hard skills to brush up the knowledge.
Hard and soft skills
Soft skills are related to interpersonal adjustment and communication. These traits depend on the personal traits of the worker and their possibility to adapt in the various situations. Examples of soft skills are proactivity, communicability, adaptability, etc.
How Hard and soft skills differ:
Importance of Hard and soft skills
There are many discussions concerning the question of which skills are more important. It all depends on the profession. In certain fields, the hard skills prevail, and in others — vice versa. Also, some professions require the knowledge of both these skills. All jobs are divided into three groups on this ground:
- Jobs where hard skills prevail: e.g., programmer, atomic scientist, chemist.
- Jobs where both types of skills are necessary: e.g., lawyer, doctor, designer.
- Jobs where soft skills prevail: e.g., seller, politician, businessman.
In general, hard and soft skills are equally necessary for a career. When it comes to headhunting, HR is searching for an employee who is competent in both fields. Most jobs require both the knowledge of programs and the capability to lead, manage and delegate the tasks. That’s why it is necessary to know how to apply the different types of skills.
The combination of these skills is especially important for the executive positions. The leader should know how to work with the product and at the same time they need to communicate with the subordinates.
Hard skills are necessary for the normal course of workflow, and soft skills help to understand the needs of clients. For example, if the programmer wants to move up the career ladder from junior to senior, they need to learn an additional programming language. And to convey the ideas to colleagues, they require good soft skills like pitching and communication with the audience.