Recruitment Agency Explains Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

When recruitment agencies like Nova Staffing start looking for candidates to fill a job opening, we check to see if they have the practical knowledge to do the role. These are known as “hard skills.” While these are important, most people applying for a job all have the same technical skills, which is why employment agencies will turn to soft skills. But what exactly is the difference between hard and soft skills? Our hiring experts break it down for you.


Hard Skills Explained

Most people understand what hard skills are. They’re easy to define and measure. Essentially, a hard skill is a technical talent or ability that is usually specific to a certain job or industry. Hard skills can be learned through schooling or training. Most people list multiple hard skills on their resumes. These are things like certifications, specialty skills, or technical talents.


Examples of hard skills include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Data Analytics
  • Foreign Language
  • Cloud Computing
  • Coding
  • Web Development
  • Driving Certificate
  • And more!


There are tons of hard skills applicable to different industries. When our hiring agents write job descriptions, we usually list which hard skills our clients are looking for in candidates. Just think of hard skills as job-specific talents like a commercial driver being certified for large trucks or a nurse knowing how to draw blood.


Soft Skills Explained

Soft skills are a little harder to explain and measure. These are interpersonal skills or abilities that help others get along and collaborate in the workplace. While soft skills can be taught and learned, a lot of it also comes down to personality and individuality. Recruitment agencies often include ideal soft skills for job positions, but since these are harder to measure, they’re more suggestions than requirements.


Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Critical Thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
  • Multitasking
  • And more!


Soft skills aren’t as industry-specific as hard skills. These are abilities you probably naturally have or have unconsciously developed throughout your life. Don’t let the name fool you, though- for many companies’ soft skills are much more valuable than hard skills since they’re harder to teach. For example, in logistics, time management and multitasking are extremely valuable skills that can’t really be taught. If you don’t have them, you won’t thrive in the position, so be honest when you apply for jobs about whether or not you have the soft skills to succeed.


Final Thoughts

So, how can you easily remember the difference between hard and soft skills? Hard skills are technical abilities usually tailored towards a specific job or industry. Soft skills are interpersonal skills applicable across multiple roles and fields. Having the right hard skills on your resume might land you an interview, but it’s soft skills that our hiring agencies look for and that companies value the most. Including a good mix of both when you apply for jobs is the best bet.


If you’re looking for a job, check out Nova Staffing’s online job board or contact us today! Our team of HR experts is ready to help you start a new career.