Skills vs traits: Hiring in the VUCA world

The skills versus traits debate is not something new to recruiters. It vexes hiring managers and recruiters as both, skills and traits have a place in the overall strategy to attract the right talent.

Skills fall into two categories: hard and soft. Hard skills comprise specific knowledge and abilities. Soft skills, on the other hand, focus on attributes and personality traits. Soft skills depend on the candidate’s emotional intelligence and behaviour: for example, problem-solving, adaptability, and flexibility.

Redefining right talent in a VUCA world

Opinions vary in the HR world about whether hard or soft skills are more important to the hiring strategy today. According to a workforce study, 55% of recruitment professionals prioritise hard skills over soft skills and 45% plan to further emphasise them in the next decade.

Although assessment of hard skills is essential to attract right talent, this alone can’t be the differentiator when organisations are hiring for job titles that didn’t exist a decade back!

As larger organisations innovate and create an environment that encourages risk taking to stay one step ahead of the game in a tech driven environment, HR needs to take the onus of redefining right talent.

Hiring for the new normal

Cross industry recruitment can broaden the talent base for your TA teams and can help them identify competencies that are transferable. HR must also develop the ability to spot niche and reliable talent and create an atmosphere for skilled employees to thrive and be nurtured in a positive, growth oriented work environment.

An organisation cannot work in isolation to meet pre-defined goals and HR can help immensely towards this end by efficiently reimagining recruitment in a VUCA world to achieve superior business growth and profitability.

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