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Getting to Know the Hard, Soft and Hybrid Skills That Pay the Bills

Abraham Mendieta | April 6, 2023

When was the last time you updated the skills listed on your resume? More of us need to freshen up our resumes than would care to admit.

When you do update your resume, what would you add? Do you have a new title or noteworthy professional achievements you’d like to tout?

LinkedIn projected that the skill sets for almost 50% of all positions will change by 2027, so keeping a current resume is essential as you move forward in your career.

Even if you keep your resume regularly updated, there’s a good chance you possess skills you’re neglecting to include — and these skills are in high demand.

That’s why we’re here to tell you about the three main types of job skills:

  • hard skills
  • soft skills
  • hybrid skills

When we’re done, we think you’ll discover you’ve got even more to offer an employer than you previously imagined.

What are hard skills?

These are the easiest skills to define, as they are specific and quantifiable. Hard skills include professional certifications, work experience or specific software skills. They are tangible abilities that are easy to identify and communicate to a prospective employer.

Examples of hard skills

Having a Class 4 CDL license or being an Excel power user are examples of hard skills. So are experience with budgeting or data visualization or writing or graphic design skills.

In the past, hard skills were all that mattered, but today’s employers are looking for something more. What else could they want? They want to see if you have soft skills.

What are soft skills?

Sometimes referred to as emotional skills or people skills, soft skills are quickly gaining recognition as essential assets prospective employees can bring to a position. They are more difficult to quantify or demonstrate but include abilities like communication, stress management or leadership. An employee with well-developed soft skills can more effectively interact and connect with the people around them.

Examples of soft skills

Soft skills desired by employers include dependability, proactivity, teamwork, collaboration, flexibility and time management.

How important are soft skills? It’s easy to see how someone in a management position might need soft skills. But are they important for the average employee? Ask yourself this: If a co-worker had no ability at communication, problem solving, leadership or conflict resolution, would they help or hinder your organization?

Soft and hard skills are important at all levels, but let’s not forget about the third type of skill employers are looking for.

What are hybrid skills?

What happens when you merge hard and soft skills? You guessed it: You get hybrid skills. For example, when you combine your ability to manage a team with a particular technical prowess, you give your employer a skilled leader who can guide employees while offering a nuts-and-bolts understanding of very specific processes.

Examples of hybrid skills

An administrative assistant who works in reception and develops custom reports has hybrid skills. So does a software developer who’s adept at training new hires.

Prospective employers seek out individuals with hybrid skills for a variety of reasons. Building hybrid skills in the workplace requires a great deal of self-awareness, and that’s also a key ingredient for helping employees thrive in many organizations. When paired with an environment valuing employee development, employees exhibiting strong hybrid skills enjoy an environment with nearly limitless options.

And when it comes to finding candidates with the right skills, employers are keenly interested in finding talent that fits the bill. According to a McKinsey survey, 58% of respondents said closing skill gaps in their workforce has taken a higher priority since 2020.

Are you ready to join an environment where you can flex all of your professional muscles as you transform an industry and build a dynamic career? Apply to Paycom today.

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As an employer brand marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s employer brand team include company culture; careers; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.