Think about this: you’re a marketing director looking to fill the social media manager position that just became available. You start receiving applications for said position, which are filled with technical skills that meet the role’s required prerequisites, however it’s hard to gauge a candidate’s qualifications until you initiate an in-person interview.
The candidates go through the interview process, and have the opportunity to go above and beyond only what’s stated in their resumé, but you’re looking for soft skills that wouldn’t necessarily be listed in their paperwork. If the candidates’ soft skills are more refined than their technical skills, would that influence you to hire one candidate over another with better technical skills?
Google, a multinational technology company, is known for its advocacy of soft over technical skills. According to a blog on Domain.me, “… The most important qualities at Google include good coaching, communication, insightfulness, empathy, and critical thinking. Their best and most productive teams exhibit equality, curiosity toward the ideas of teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence,” (Bogunovic, G). Technical skills will only get you so far, and with a rapidly-changing world, employees need to be agile, curious, good communicators and critical thinkers.
With a field as on-trend as social media, it’s imperative candidates exhibit those soft skills on top of the technical skills. It’s just as important, however, for candidates to display they have the willingness to independently continue learning and pushing their technical skills to the next level. Career Buzz words the reasoning behind this well—”Companies could choose to value soft skills more because it is harder to teach soft skills over hard skills.” If there is no drive for professional development, then the soft and technical skills are both lacking—that lack of desire to progress technical skills could be a huge testament to their soft skills.
This leads me into the notion of curiosity. Curiosity is a soft skill that isn’t something one would list on their resumé—it speaks for itself in terms of a candidate’s work ethic and passion for their field. Going back to the social media manager role, a curious social media manager immerses themselves in the social media world, staying up-to-date on trends and news relevant to our industry. They’re constantly paying attention to what competitors are doing and employing strategies that would help elevate company channels above the competition.
Speaking of passion, none of their technical skills would be possible without passion. As with any position, someone who is passionate about their job is going to excel and go above and beyond the call of duty. The social media world is fast-paced and dynamic, and it’s up to someone with passion to roll their sleeves up and execute the best content for our company.
In my opinion, as someone who has been part of the hiring process, I would weigh soft skills a little more than technical skills. If someone exhibits the ability to be coachable and curious, technical skills can be further refined and developed. Although, according to Career Buzz, “… Soft skills are less quantifiable than hard skills,” I still find they play a more integral role in hiring a candidate for an open job position.
Bogunovic, G. July 25, 2019. Domain.Me. “Technical Skills VS Soft Skills: Which Are More Important?”. https://domain.me/technical-skills-vs-soft-skills-finding-the-balance/
Chang, A. December 16, 2016. Pro Sky. “Finding the Balance Between Technical (Hard) and Soft Skills”. https://careerbuzz.prosky.co/articles/finding-the-balance-between-technical-hard-and-soft-skills#:~:text=Technical%20skills%20are%20the%20tangible,the%20right%20time%20and%20effort.&text=Companies%20could%20choose%20to%20value,soft%20skills%20over%20hard%20skills.
Lua, A. May 20, 2019. Buffer. “10 Important Skills and Traits Your Social Media Manager Will Need”. https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-manager-job-description/