Soft skills : Différence selon les générations
Soft skills are owned and valued differently from one generation to another. Here are some examples:
- Baby Boomers (born between 1941 and 1961) are considered idealistic and preach family values, union and cohesion within a group and have started to associate work and social life ;
- Gen X (born between 1961 and 1981), faced with job shortage, is dynamic, proactive, rejects authoritarianism and demands leadership, competitiveness and self focus ;
- Gen Y (born between 1981 and 1999), which emerged at the same time as the internet, is more emancipated, demanding towards the job (employers must also stand out), creative, critical and seeks to break the routine.
soft skills align between generations?
Given these differences, it is quite likely that there will be generational conflicts in the workplace. Soft skills are part of a person’s attitude and ignoring these differences could be dangerous for the well-being of the social environment.
However, these generational traits can also be seen as complementary:
- Baby boomers can coach younger people with their experience and sense of cohesion and belonging.
- Gen X can boost a company's productivity.
- Gen Y brings fresh ideas and innovation.
The key to success is an environment and training that encourages mutual respect and empathy within the group. People need to understand that we are different and that these differences are an asset - as Robert Quillent confirms when he says, "Debate is an exchange of knowledge, and argument is an exchange of emotions."
Read our article on what millennials expect
How do you assess soft skills in an interview?
Soft skills are essential. However, detecting them during the recruitment process is difficult. In fact, a "right answer" to a question doesn't guarantee that the desired character trait is present.
Traditional tools such as an interview with standardized questions have shown their limits. Other tools such as simulation games in the real workplace are expensive and the returns on investment are not guaranteed.
Another tool used by many recruiters is a analysis grid, which is a simple yet effective system. It involves precisely listing the qualities required by the employer for a position. The grid is then used in the rating sheet assigned to each candidate.
A pre-interview test, confirmed by the interview, is needed to give a "-", "+", "++" or "+++" rating. More practical and precise questions can be asked.
For example, these questions could be asked like this:
- For team spirit: "You're the only one who disagrees with the team's decision. What will you do?
- For leadership: "A team member leaves the group, followed by another. How will you respond ?
- For empathy: "A newcomer is excluded by the rest of the team. Will you intervene?
- For public speaking, the focus will not be on questions but on getting candidates to demonstrate their speaking skills. The movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" gives a good example, which can be used during interviews: in this case, the goal was to sell a pencil in 4 to 5 sentences.
How to develop a team's soft skills?
An established team often lacks specific soft skills, or misjudges a person's abilities. Candidates may also realize that they lack certain skills when they already land the job. Developing soft skills is not easy, but it is possible.
- Good practices on a daily basis: encourage a culture of feedback, break the routine, allow decisions to be made, reward effort ;
- Soft skills training: this can be a training session in personal development, specific training for each soft skill that you want to develop, theatrical training, or using a manager or coach.
What is a soft skills manager or coach?
An external person, expert in the field, assisting a person to develop the needed soft skills - or a small group.
This coaching aims to :
- Define the goals that the person or group wants to achieve;
- List the soft skills that need to be corrected to reach these objectives;
- Schedule and organize a workshop over several weeks with theoretical courses and practical exercises.
What type of position should be coached
All departments can benefit from soft skills coaching: HR team, sales, managers or even workers can all find it useful. Rather, a "need-based" approach is required, i.e. determining which part of the company requires an upgrade in human skills.
How to evaluate the return on investment of a soft skills coaching?
The return on investment can be measured in the same way as any other training a company provides to its employees:
- An evaluation at the end of the training to determine the learners' satisfaction level;
- An evaluation test;
- An evaluation of the skills’ effectiveness in the field (by means of performance scores, improved work environment, customer feedback, etc.)
An evaluation of the return on investment, quantified or not, calculated in relation to the company's initial needs (before the training).
Example: Better communication between the production and marketing managers had an impact on the website's content relevance, based on the conversion rate recorded on the website following this change. The soft skill developed at the beginning was mainly focused on communication.
Benefits of using Hunteed to find the right candidates:
Hunteed is a digital platform for executive search. This solution allows you to broadcast your job offers to a community of recruitment consultants, specialized in various fields of expertise. Recruitment consultants are in charge of finding the right candidates for your company, according to your criteria in both hard and soft skills.
In terms of soft skills, Hunteed offers the following advantages:
- Recruitment consultants are specialized in specific professions. They know the soft skills needed for a position and how to spot them;
- Hunteed works closely with recruiting companies: an in-house team is dedicated to supporting and monitoring clients on a regular basis to help guide the recruitment consultants as needed;
- Hunteed requires its partner recruitment consultants to meet and qualify candidates for the relevant position.