Soft Skills are underrated: think of them as Power Skills instead

Soft Skills get a bad rep, possibly because of their name. But it's the first thing we look at when hiring and this is why.

Trippy, 2D illustration of soft skills are underrated article.

At Tymeshift we have a couple of intense divides: are you a coffee person or rather a matcha’s ambassador? And who’s even on #tea team? 

There is perhaps only one topic where we aren’t willing to compromise: no matter what is your go-to drink, we care that you aren’t an a**hole. 

I am not joking. I invite you to check any of our job descriptions (or head over to this one), and they all mention that we are looking for someone who Is not an asshole. We know that everyone who isn’t an asshole might giggle at that. I love it when people mention on a first call that they read it and they found it funny or curious. That, even though it is so obvious, we clearly put that out there. When candidates bring it up and rather get defensive, I am usually very curious about that. 

The story behind each reaction usually tells us more than what meets the eye, plus it is an instant ice-breaker. 

At Tymeshift, we are always looking for people with impeccable soft skills. All our job descriptions have these in common:

  • Not an asshole
  • Lead by example
  • Positive attitude
  • Curiosity
  • Excellent communicator
  • Bias to action
  • EQ - Would you google it?

They might be called soft skills, but I can guarantee you that without signs of them, no one would qualify for any of our jobs. That is why, many people (but mostly @Rebheartsyou on Twitter), are reclaiming we call them ✨ power skills ✨

By calling them soft skills, we might be softening the message. Underplaying their importance.

Think of it: soft is part of many English idioms, and none of them is  great. Think of soft in the head. Being a softy. Gone soft. Softening the blow. 

So it’s no surprise that when we think of soft skills, we don’t assume they’re the most important skills in a job. 

Here’s why we disagree. 

No one wants to work with assholes :)

During the interview process, our candidates get to meet different people, from People Ops to their own future team. That way, we can assess if someone both fits the culture, but also adds to it (we call this “a culture fit” and “a culture add”).

Along that process, we also perform TAIS (Attentional Interpersonal Style Inventory) personality assessments. It helps us assess self-awareness, working styles, individual strengths and opportunities. We’ve noticed that as we get more familiar with this kind of assessment, it also broadens our own EQ knowledge - it really is a never-finished job!

Positive influence on self and team

Especially being a remote and hybrid work environment, we want our energy to transpire online too. Reading the room is so important, but how do you read a room that is online? On Slack and on our watercooler moments, we like to spend time on building our culture, brick by brick. 

As we like to say, even though we’re proud of taking our work seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. So on a random Friday, you’ll usually find us like this: 

With the right people fostering a culture of support, openness, and even fun, work becomes a place where you can let your hair down and your mask at the door too (sadly, not the Covid-19 protective mask just yet).

You cannot teach or impose soft skills, mastering them takes a lot of presence

Soft skills are not something you can teach or impose. That is why they’re surprisingly hard to find: and why we take them so seriously in our hiring process. 

Sure, they can and should be developed. But It does take a lot of openness, presence, and willingness to learn in the first place. Ideally, you don’t want to teach someone how to default to action or to communicate better, so you’re always looking for people who already did a lot of work on themselves.

On the other hand, hard skills are fairly teachable. We have hired folks who were impeccable cultural fits, knowing they would have to polish their technical side. It is not very difficult to find someone who can do the job, but it is not that easy to find someone who can both do the job and be someone that could add to your company culture. 

Back to our soft skills. It is not uncommon in our team to find folks who regularly visit a coach or a therapist or even follow meditative practices. And when we’re recruiting, cues like that point toward a promising candidate.

Guide you in problem solving

When I’m looking at candidates, I know that more than knowing how to solve a problem, what matters is that they know where to look for the answers. 

That is why a purely technical profile in itself is not enough to land a job at Tymeshift. 

On the other hand, a curious mind keeps learning and evolving. So, that’s the kind of mind that brings solutions and drives us forward. 

Now, imagine 100 minds (and counting) with that mindset and BOOM. 🚀

Wouldn’t you agree? 

Remember: Tymeshift is hiring

If you’re big on emotional intelligence and would like to join us, wait no more and check out our current vacancies. We’re looking for a candidate who can join our internal boysband, someone who can contribute to our #pets channel with photos of their puppy, and someone who knows where to get the best matcha in town. 

About Tymeshift:

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