Managing talent is one of the main functions of staff working in the Human Resources department, and this is a task that has become increasingly important.
In recent years, we are witnessing a phenomenon that has occurred rarely throughout history: Companies are having serious difficulties filling vacant jobs..
Even in places where unemployment rates are high, it can take weeks or even months for organizations to find the perfect person to fill a role. In fact, they often have to give up, or greatly lower your expectations, to fill the vacancy.
In an environment in which finding talent has become complicated, one of the most viable solutions is to reduce the need for hiring. How is this achieved? Retaining talent, achieving a feeling of belonging among employees that makes it especially difficult for them to make the decision to leave their job of their own free will to go work somewhere else.
If the turnover rate drops because employees do not leave, the need to hire new workers will be less and, consequently, the effects of that talent crisis to which we were referring will be suffered less.
But the big question is, how do you retain talent? This is a topic we have already talked about on occasion, and now we are going to focus on how hiring based on people's skills, rather than their technical capabilities, can help us build a culture of belonging. This way, every new employee who joins the company will become a long-term member of the company, and will not want to work anywhere else.
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Skills for today and tomorrow
When we refer to skills, we are talking about soft skills. That set of abilities and competencies that are an intrinsic part of an individual's personality, and that he has developed over time through his personal and professional experience.
Soft skills are not directly necessary to be able to perform a job, but they have a lot of influence when it comes to whether the employee can assume their tasks and responsibilities in the best possible way.
Let's think about a member of the accounting department. To be able to work in it you must have hard skills that are purely technical. For example, knowing how to make an entry in the accounting books, or being aware of the obligations that derive from the General Accounting Plan.
The technical skills directly associated with accounting would be enough for this professional to do his job. But it turns out that what we are looking for is to do it in the most efficient way possible. That's when soft skills come into play.
Because the accountant does not always have as much time as he would like to do each of his tasks, since he has to attend meetings, answer phone calls, look for some paper that has been misplaced... This can mean that, when the time comes, getting your billing in order, have a high level of stress. If you don't know how to handle it, the situation will take its toll on you and you may not do your job well. On the contrary, if you have the soft skills of stress management, you will be able to resolve the situation and fulfill your obligation with the utmost professionalism.
What we want to see with this is that, To carry out any job, not only the technical capabilities of the person influence, their soft skills also have a lot of weight.. For example, being able to communicate with others to convey what you want when delegating tasks, or being able to work as a team.
It also happens that the knowledge and technical skills needed to do a task change over time.
Returning to the example of our accountant, let's look back. 30 years ago in company accounting departments, books were filled out by hand, and accounts were done with the help of a calculator. Nowadays, all these tasks are automated through software, and what we need from the accountant is that he knows how to use that program (something that we did not require of the staff three decades ago) and that he has the ability to interpret the data and contribute an added value to your work.
The technical demands have changed, but the soft skills desirable in the people who occupy these positions have not.
Therefore, if when hiring, the company pays special attention to soft skills and even gives them priority over hard skills, it is betting on its future. Because technical skills can be taught quickly, but soft skills are not acquired as quickly. And it is precisely these last ones that They guarantee that an employee will be able to adapt to changes that come in the future.
Soft skills and talent retention
It is clear that the objective of companies is now to look for talent that has well-developed certain soft skills, but what does this have to do with the culture of permanence in the company?
Soft skills equip people with a greater flexibility and ease of adaptation to changes. Therefore, an employee who is valid today will continue to be valid in the future. Your technical skills may be outdated, but you can get back up and running with the right training.
If the worker is shown that is valued above a set of technical capabilities, and that he is trusted to face the challenges that are coming, your motivation increases.
Motivation is precisely the engine that drives people to do something. So, if an employee is motivated, he will face with the best possible disposition all the tasks and responsibilities that have been entrusted to him, even when they pose a challenge.
On the other hand, the culture of permanence is closely linked to the culture of growth. If we are looking at a person who has well-developed soft skills, we are guaranteed that he is a worker who will be able to adapt to changes and always give his best. Therefore, he is someone who can and wants to grow professionally.
If the company is able to provide growth opportunities, the feeling of loyalty will become even stronger. On the contrary, if the employee knows that, no matter how good he is, he has no future in the company beyond the tasks he currently assumes, sooner or later the time will come when he decides to leave to work somewhere else.
How to promote the culture of permanence taking into account soft skills
We are going to analyze five factors that show how linked soft skills can be with employees' interest in staying with a company:
Leadership and effective communication
Leaders must be an example to follow for their subordinates, and they do not achieve this by giving orders, but through a effective communication, good active listening skills and good doses of empathy.
If leaders with these skills are sought and communication is encouraged in the company, employees feel heard and valued and, consequently, they have less desire to go to work somewhere else.
Professional development and personal growth
Developing soft skills such as emotional intelligence can help resolve conflicts inside and outside of work, promoting growth at all levels.
When the employees They feel that they can improve their skills through their work, and that they can grow, They tend to stay with the company for longer.
Positive work environment
Soft skills such as collaboration and teamwork contribute to creating a healthier work environment, in which people respect each other and there is mutual trust. As a result, employees feel comfortable and do not want to risk losing that good environment by trying their luck at another job.
Conflict management and resilience
Conflict management and resilience skills enable employees to address conflicts in a more constructive way, avoiding arguments and personal quarrels. Again, this contributes to improving the work environment and encourages retention in the company.
Inclusion and diversity
Soft skills like empathy and cultural sensitivity help create an inclusive and diverse workplace where everyone feels valued. AND Employees who know they are valued are much less willing to change jobs.
In short, if we hire people with soft skills, and enhance them, we make employees feel more comfortable in the company. If, in addition, they have opportunities to grow within the company, achieving the objective of retaining talent is not so complicated.