Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A. February 2019

... Cover story, continued

Soft Skills

be ranked above personality and culture fit. A candidate may come with a degree from a top school and a decade of experience, but that experience won’t make up for the problems that will arise if a new hire doesn’t click well with the rest of your team or isn’t eager to take care of your customers. When a job demands a set of hard skills, your strategy should be to hire for personality and skills. Does this mean it will be harder to find the right person for the position? Absolutely. And while it can be stressful to have an open position for a long time, it’s always worth waiting to find the right person. When hiring managers look only at academic background and technical prowess, they often overlook plenty of promising candidates who need only an opportunity to learn before they can excel. But it is perfectly reasonable to insist that candidates come to the table with certain skills needed to succeed in the position. Be sure your company is bringing in the right people by learning to balance soft skills and hard skills when evaluating candidates.

Here are some other examples of hard skills:

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Data analysis

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Copywriting Foreign languages

When someone says they “hire for personality,” what they really mean is that they are looking for candidates with certain soft skills. These are nontechnical skills that can’t be measured and aren’t easy to list on a resume. Here are some soft skills companies look for in new hires:

Any certification, degree, or license

Which Is More Important?

Depending on the position you’re trying to fill, you may have flexibility when it comes to hard skills. If a dental office is hiring a front desk receptionist, it’s important this person be organized, friendly, self-motivated, and have strong communication skills. They might not have experience at a dentist’s office or know how to use the software, but if they have the right soft skills, they can learn and adapt quickly to the environment. On the other hand, if you are hiring a computer programmer to run your website, you wouldn’t want to spend time teaching the person you hired how to code with HTML or CSS. The programmer you hire should come equipped with these skills.

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Empathy

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Communication

Organization

Flexibility

Creativity

Enthusiasm Work ethic

Team-orientation

Responsibility Compassion

Self-motivation

Attention to detail

Hard Skills

Hard skills are teachable abilities that can be learned through training or experience. Necessary hard skills will vary depending on what industry you work in. An accountant needs hard skills in QuickBooks and mathematics, while someone who works in online marketing will need to be proficient in social media outreach and SEO best practices.

Certain hard skills are essential to the job. That said, proficiency in hard skills should not

One for the Ages How Super Bowl XXXIV Made an Icon Out of a Grocery Store Clerk

late Steve McNair and the Titans had different plans. The Georgia Dome was rocking after two Eddie George touchdown runs, and a field goal brought the Titans level at 16–16, with just over two minutes of play remaining. In response, Warner dropped back and found receiver Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 23–16 with 1:54 left on the clock. But the Titans weren’t done fighting. Quickly moving the ball down the field, Titans quarterback Steve McNair found himself with a third and 5 inside the Rams 30-yard line with 22 seconds left. Scrambling around and fighting off two players trying to pull him down, McNair threw the ball to Kevin Dyson at the 10-yard line. A quick timeout left six seconds on the clock, and the Titans were one play away from tying the game. What proceeded was a play that will be forever known as “the tackle.”McNair found Dyson on a quick slant, and when he caught the ball at the 4-yard line, it appeared a touchdown was imminent. Suddenly, linebacker Mike Jones wrapped the receiver up at the hips. As he fell to the ground with the ball in his hand, Dyson extended his arm, but when he hit the AstroTurf, he was 1 yard short of the goal line. The Rams had pulled off the impossible, earning their first Super Bowl title ever.

Going into the 1999 NFL season, no one expected anything from the St. Louis Rams. When starting quarterback Trent Green went down with a gruesome knee injury in the preseason, ESPN The Magazine slated the Rams to be the worst team in the NFL that year. With few options, coach Vermeil named a virtually unknown player as his new starting quarterback, humbly stating in a press conference, “We will rally around Kurt Warner, and we’ll play good football.”

Five years before his start, 22-year-old Kurt Warner was stocking shelves at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for $5.50 an hour. However, he had amassed a whopping 16 snaps in the NFL prior to taking the reins for the 1999 season, and what proceeded to transpire on the field was utter pandemonium, giving the Rams the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf.” This improbable season and the resulting MVP award for Warner set the stage for one of the most dramatic games in Super Bowl history. After going up 16–0 against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, Warner and the Rams looked poised to coast on their way to the Lombardi Trophy, but the

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