On websites like Recruiter.com, there's an emerging term for the perfect candidate : "purple squirrels," meaning something fantastical and rare. Even with an over-saturated labor market where more and more companies feel free to wait for the perfect candidate, the "perfect employee" usually comes about through on-the-job training, not serendipity in the hiring process. And if you're looking to improve your employee pool, integrating soft skills into employee training programs can pay off in a big way.
According to the St. Louis-based Workforce Solutions Group, employers have difficulty finding applicants with strong soft skills, even in an over-saturated labor market. These soft skills, including communication, creativity, critical thinking , and interpersonal skills, may be less visible or verifiable than technical skills, but they're in even higher demand.
No good can come from ignoring soft skills. After all, a team of brilliant programmers will create a buggy mess if they can't communicate with each other. And projects can get turned around if supervisors and technical workers aren't on the same page. Communication errors with clients can lose business. Soft skills impact all areas of a business's operation and at all levels of employment.
When companies in the Workforce Solutions Group's 2013 State of the St. Louis Workforce report were asked how they made up the skills gap, 70 percent indicated that training came on the job. Sixty-three percent invested in in-house classroom training specifically. Other methods, such as online courses , also had a respectable showing, with one in three companies springing for training through those channels.
If you plan to integrate soft skills into employee training programs, Hurley Write, Inc. can help. We offer customized courses in communication, critical thinking, and business writing and can help make up a skills gap or refine a skilled employee pool. Contact Hurley Write, Inc. to learn more!
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