The Value of Soft Skills

The Value of Soft Skills

Amy Simpson Amy Simpson | May 29, 2019

A successful insurance business needs a diverse group of people with diverse skills and talents. “Hard skills” are easily measured with proven success and practice, but many skills that make an active and successful team member are not so easy to define. Communication and critical thinking are increasingly important as more and more positions are automated—these skills can set a candidate apart and make them more successful as your employee.

Importance of Soft Skills

Soft skills are the interpersonal attitudes that define an individual’s character in a workplace environment and can help determine how a candidate might fit in with a company’s culture. In a Global Talent Trends survey conducted by LinkedIn, 91 percent of talent professionals said they believe soft skills are important to the future of recruiting. The decision of hiring a candidate or firing an employee can ride on that individual’s ability to leverage soft skills. Additionally, 92 percent of talent professionals believe soft skills are just as important as hard skills, and it was found that up to 89 percent say poor hires often lack soft skills.

Essential Soft Skills

Some soft skills are more desired than others and finding candidates with those skills is like finding a piece of hay in a stack of needles. With so many people focusing on how to develop their hard skills, the development and refinement of soft skills can go by the wayside. Some soft skills are even harder to find and understand than others. LinkedIn identified the following skills as the most in-demand relative to their supply:

Creativity is not limited to the artists and musicians of the world. Creativity is a highly desired skill because it can never be automated, and it allows people to solve problems with relevance and novelty. Without creativity, there is no innovation, and to succeed today, you need to be more innovative than the competition.

Persuasion is less about manipulating others, and more about defending ideas and explaining why they matter. This a skill needed for sales, but also in management. By being able to communicate the benefits of an idea with genuine reasons and thought, a successful leader can influence decisions to push innovation forward.

Collaboration proves a person’s ability to work on a team. How that person communicates with others, how they trust and whether they tolerate new ideas and compromise with others can indicate how much of a team player the individual is. Collaboration is key to a successful team dynamic and one weak link can throw off the entire team.

Adaptability can go hand-in-hand with collaboration. An individual needs to be flexible and OK with change. They need to be prepared for new people to join the team, receptive to criticism and innovation and stay calm even in stressful situations.

Time Management can mean the difference between managing a workload or drowning in it. Being able to prioritize tasks can result in increased productivity and faster decision making.

A candidate’s soft skills are crucial to their possible success at your organization. The James Allen Companies’ recruiters understand the value of soft skills. With our nearly 30 years of insurance industry recruiting and over 40 years combined overall staffing experience, we are the experts at placing candidates who are able to communicate, think on their feet and influence change. The James Allen Companies is the answer to recruiting the candidates with all of the skills required to help your insurance organization advance. Contact us today to see how our insurance industry-expert recruiters can help your business with your next hiring project.

About the Author

Amy Simpson
Amy Simpson
Amy has more than a decade of experience successfully recruiting experienced insurance professionals. Her extensive expertise and network of contacts has allowed her to place highly skilled and nearly impossible to find candidates in underwriting, claims, loss control, sales, premium audit, marketing, human resources, IT and beyond. She loves the challenge of looking for someone who seems impossible to find. Amy is committed to exceeding her clients’ expectations and enjoys helping people to enhance their careers. Amy has two young children, Noah and Jonah, with her husband Marc. They love to travel and look forward to planning their next visit to Disney World.
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