Cover story, continued ...
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?
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.
easy to list on a resume. Here are some soft skills companies look for in new hires:
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. Certain hard skills are essential to the job. That said, proficiency in hard skills should not 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
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Enthusiasm Work ethic
Self-motivation Attention to detail
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 andmathematics, while someone who works in online marketing will need to be proficient in social media outreach and SEO best practices.
Here are some other examples of hard skills:
Any certification, degree, or license
STRENGTH OF MIND Tips to Keep Memory Sharp and Improve Cognitive Function
swimming and running keep the part of our brain responsible for memory from shrinking.
instrument, or picking up a new hobby work wonders to keep your mind active and your memory sharp. These mental exercises are especially important after retirement, often to make up for the loss of stimulating challenges that work used to provide. GET PHYSICAL Taking care of our physical health has also been shown to help brain function. According to a study by Sydney University in Australia, aerobic exercise is particularly good at jogging our memory. The researchers note that “aerobic exercise acts by preventing the usual decrease in neurogenesis associated with aging, thus resulting in greater retention of neural matter — particularly in the hippocampus.” In short, exercises like
Irish poet Oscar Wilde once called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Of course, in Wilde’s time, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years old. As modern medicine continues to enable people to live longer, these “diaries” tend to become muddled. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract the natural dulling of our memory that comes with time. PUZZLE YOURSELF Just like any other muscle, our brain needs a workout in order to stay strong. As Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson of Harvard Medical School writes, “Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells.” Activities like solving puzzles, learning a musical
SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY Humans are social creatures. Many studies have shown that being a part of a supportive social group can significantly benefit our physical and mental health. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health reports that people who have daily contact with friends and family cut their risk of dementia and mental impairment almost in half. Our mental diaries may be longer and fuller than they were in Wilde’s day, but if we fill those pages with hobbies, exercise, and close friends, our memories will remain sharp and vivid for the rest of our days.
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