Soft Skills are undervalued

According to a study conducted by Linkedin, “talent developers, executives and people managers agree that training for soft skills is the top priority for talent development teams”.

IT-specialists lack precisely soft skills. The most important skills for employees to learn are:

  • communication (ability to listen, give feedback, negotiate, cooperate, share knowledge);
  • collaboration;
  • leadership;
  • role-specific skills.

Companies are fighting to stay ahead of the curve, struggling to fill key positions with talents and vocationally-skilled people. People define ‘vocational’ as essential skills and undervalue the skills that actually matter.

Companies and HR’s spend a ton of time measuring the vocational skills, because they can. The thing is that we know how vocational skills (read: hard skills) can be taught. We, for our parts, spend a lot of time training these, because we can.

We let ourselves off the hook when it comes to decision making or supporting, or caring, or being proactive… or inspiring people.

Why are we full of fear training these? We definitely know what are the skills we have learned through socialisation and experience.

Why aren’t we trying to improve them, practice them and change some of them?cThe answer is, we are not clear how to measure them.

Why don’t companies hire for these attributes? The answer is, it’s only business bro! It’s not personal. Vocational skills are impersonal and easier to measure.

Soft Skills importance

Successful teamwork

Teamwork helps build positive relationships with the team, which in turn leads to effective collaboration and new ideas.

A new specialist will be a more valuable team member if he has developed soft skills. He may be not super-vocational-skilled; he will learn it in the process. It gives him a significant advantage over all the competitors or over those team members who it is difficult to work with.

Career and professional skills development

A proactive developer, who is concerned about potential project problems, who proposes solutions in advance is much more likely to get a promotion towards project management.

An open, pleasant, friendly employee is far more likely to be promoted than a cocky and arrogant one.


Soft skills help you to build a professional reputation. Everybody knows you, turns to you for advice and wants to hold onto you.

In your favor

Huge companies with developed corporate culture (as Airbnb, Dropbox, Snapchat, Spotify, Google, Apple, Netflix, etc.) have a clear understanding what soft skills their teams need to make up their own inner ecosystem.

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Andrei Smagin

Andrei Smagin

Product Manager nut. Stirring up some monkey business. Delivering genius solutions. Teaching on moonlighting. Usually here: