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.

6 Soft Skills Hiring Agencies Look for in Candidates

There is a lot that goes into finding the perfect candidate. It can take time and experience to weed out applicants and find the perfect fit. That’s why many companies turn to recruitment agencies like Nova Staffing. One reason Nova Staffing has such a high success rate is that we look at soft skills as well as hard skills. But what exactly are soft skills, and which ones do our hiring experts look for?


What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills relate to how people work. These are skills that are non-technical but impact how someone interacts with colleagues, clients, and their work. Soft skills include things like interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, empathy, and more.


Soft skills are important to how successful a new hire is. You might get ten candidates with all the same hard skills (technical, job-specific skills), so how do you pick the right person to hire? That’s where soft skills come in. These interpersonal skills make all the difference in a good fit and successful employees.


Here are some of the soft skills our hiring experts at Nova Staffing look for.


Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

No matter what industry or company you work for, unplanned instances are bound to come up. It could be a delay, an unhappy client, a broken product, or something else. Employers want to hire people that can use critical thinking to assess a situation and problem-solving to fix it. These are some of the top soft skills companies ask us to look for when recruiting candidates.



Communication is the key to success. Regardless of what position you’re hiring for, companies need employees that have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Employees will need to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, managers, customers, and more.


Adaptability & Flexibility 

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that companies and employees need to be adaptable in order to succeed. No matter what position you’re looking to apply for, issues and changes are bound to come up. Employers are looking for flexible candidates when it comes to these things and can adapt to succeed.



One of the most common things our recruitment experts at Nova Staffing hear from clients is that they want dependable candidates. Hiring and training new employees is time-consuming and expensive. Companies want to have to do this as little as possible, so they’re always looking for workers that they can count on.


Positivity & Motivation

This is one of the hardest soft skills to judge, which is why using a professional hiring service can come in handy. Our team at Nova knows how to find candidates that are not only qualified but also motivated and excited about the position. A positive new hire will not only be more likely to succeed, but they’ll also impact others around them.


Time Management

Time is money in the business world, which is why time management is always one of the top soft skills companies look for. Things like showing up on time, completing tasks within a reasonable time frame, and more are incredibly important time-management skills most employers want new hires to have.


Are you looking to expand your company? Contact Nova Staffing today! Our team of hiring experts has over 200 years of combined industry experience and can help find quality candidates to join your company.