Robots already play a huge role in the UK workplace. But recent research predicts that over four million jobs will be lost to robots within the next 10 years – a statistic that will rock the job market.
4 million UK jobs will soon be filled by robots: are organisations losing the ‘human touch’?
While robots can offer efficiency in terms of time and money, do they really have as much to offer as human employees?
When organisations are recruiting, they often look for hard skills: technical abilities and knowledge that will allow a candidate to perform a specific task or role.
What’s often overlooked (by employers and candidates alike) is the importance of soft skills – not just whether a candidate could do the job, but how they should do it.
“Despite the predictions, robots will never fully replace humans in the workplace. CV parsing software and ATS systems don’t help when it comes to determining whether a candidate would be the right fit for an organisation. A person may tick all the technical skills boxes, but will they stay motivated and work well with the existing team and suit the company culture? Applicant tracking systems simply can’t predict that! Employers need to bring the human element back into recruitment, otherwise they are at risk of overlooking the wealth of talent sitting right under their noses!” says Katherine Wiid, Career Management expert at Career Ambitions.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are interpersonal. For example, social skills, personality traits and communication skills that we build up as we get older and more experienced. Artificial intelligence, however sophisticated, simply can’t replicate these skills, and therefore robots are lacking when it comes to soft skills. A robot cannot feel empathy, or persuasion for example.
These soft skills are what allows an employee to fit in to a team and work well with their colleagues, managers, clients.
Soft skills in recruiting
According to Katherine Wiid there’s now a soft-skills gap emerging:
“Employers and candidates are missing a trick. Employers always list technical skills on their job descriptions, but often neglect to describe how the job should be carried out or done by a successful candidate. And because they’re not asked for them, candidates neglect to show their soft skills off!”
When you’re recruiting, put soft skills as high up the checklist as hard skills. Consider what interpersonal skills the ideal candidate would have: will they need to be a good leader? Have strong communication skills? Be quick to make decisions? Confident at networking? Only one in five candidates currently showcase their soft skills on their CV, so it’s important to ask for these. Write a job description that reflects your real needs, in order to attract candidates that will be suited to the role and fit in with your existing team.
Soft skills as a candidate
If you’re a candidate, don’t forget to show off your soft skills on your CV (regardless of whether the employer has listed them as ‘required’ or not). Often, job descriptions are recycled or drawn up with little time or thought, so go beyond and read between the lines! Give clear examples of how you do what you do, when those soft skills were demonstrated and how you added value to a situation. Remember, hard skills can be taught, but soft skills take years of experience to develop.
Overcoming the soft-skills gap
Soft-skills are under-rated and consequently under advertised. In order to overcome the soft-skills gap and see top talent being hired into positions in which they will stay motivated and driven, recruiters and candidates need to focus on what makes us human in 2018.
Based in Cambridge, Career Ambitions has a strong reputation for enabling highly-trained and talented individuals to get through major career change, redundancy and/or indecision to realise their career potential and meet their ambitions.