Baltic Training Blog: Hard Skills vs Human Skills

An increasing number of young people today are interested in tech from an early age, and often have self-taught knowledge of coding or troubleshooting IT issues. When recruiting for a technical role, these hard skills can be very desirable to employers.

Whilst having this technical knowledge and experience is definitely beneficial, it isn’t the only thing that makes a great employee. It is also important that a new recruit fits in with company values and culture, and that they can be trusted to approach the role with enthusiasm and determination.

After all, technical skills can be picked up along the way. Realistically, we shouldn’t be expecting young professionals to already have extensive hard skills before they go into an apprenticeship – that’s what we’re here for!

Apprenticeships are an ideal way to set someone up with the skills and experience needed to start their career. Our training covers all of the hard skills that are required to execute their day to day role, and they can gain the experience on the job.

But some skills can’t be taught. Skills such as communication, teamwork, self-confidence, problem solving, empathy, and creativity. We see so many young people with these “human skills” that have the potential to go far in tech and digital roles. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked in favour of candidates with “hard skills”.

At present, people working in tech and digital roles typically come from a STEM background. By only considering candidates from these fields, employers could be missing out on passionate and creative people. Therefore, we should be looking for talent within the STEAM fields. That’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths.

Many tech jobs are actually more reliant on human skills than they might first appear. For example, the job of a software developer can be highly creative, and for an IT Support Technician, good customer service skills are essential.

Casting a wider net also means that we can encourage a higher percentage of females into the tech sector. Whilst computing and IT subjects at school are notoriously male dominated, the arts have a much higher percentage of females. Studies have found that women are much less likely to apply to a role if they don’t have all of the hard skills listed in the job description, whereas men are more likely to apply anyway.

If you’re recruiting for an apprentice, considering this broader range of candidates will give you more choice and opportunity for comparison when it comes to the interview stage, allowing you to select the perfect fit for your business.

To find out more about recruiting an apprentice, click here.

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