The Importance of soft skills in the age of AI

Thriving on the strength of connection and soft skills: three young colleagues enjoying shared happiness.

With AI increasingly playing a role in recruitment, there is a growing recognition that the future will demand a unique blend of technical prowess and essential human attributes.

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Scott van Dort

As Senior Copywriter at Teamtailor, my goal is to communicate, inform, educate, and inspire existing and potential users about our incredible, all-in-one recruitment solution.

While tech skills and data literacy undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the workforce of today, it's important that we don't forget or underestimate the power of soft skills – skills that technology cannot replicate or replace. 

As we share in our Future of Recruitment guide, in recent years, there has been a huge shift in the way organizations source, attract, hire, and engage with potential talent. Among the reasons is the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in recruitment. As highlighted in our guide, 78% of HR professionals use AI in their recruitment process or have plans to do so shortly.

AI has, of course, made a huge leap in the past few years with the introduction of ChatGPT. There is, however, still some apprehension, with 22% of respondents saying they do not plan to implement AI in their processes anytime soon. Could the fear of losing the human element that makes recruitment personal be one of the reasons?

Technology and soft skills ✨

The fact is that technology and soft skills don't have to be mutually exclusive. Leading recruiters not only embrace technology but also understand the importance of soft skills.

Johan Westberg, Nordic Culture and People Manager at SATS – the biggest fitness chain in the Nordics – shares, “Today, the emphasis on soft skills is not just a trend; it's a fundamental shift in how employers assess and value candidates, acknowledging the importance of a well-rounded skill set for success in the modern workplace.” Learn more about how SATS works with recruitment in our SATS customer case.

Below, we look at seven irreplaceable soft skills. These skills are essential for successful communication and relationships in the workplace and beyond. 

 🎨 Creativity

New challenges require fresh ways of thinking, and this is where human creativity shines. Creative thinking remains a cornerstone of problem-solving, driving innovation, and pushing the boundaries of possibility.

The human mind's ability to think outside the box, and create and compose original thought simply cannot be replicated by machines.

💡Analytical/critical thinking

As we collaborate with machines and redefine the way we work, our analytical and critical thinking abilities become more precious than ever. Humans possess the capacity to formulate and evaluate innovative ideas and weigh the pros and cons of different approaches. This skill is pivotal in identifying the most effective partnership between humans and machines.

💗 Emotional intelligence

Our ability to reason, be aware of, control, and express emotions, while also understanding the emotions of others, fosters genuine human connections. Empathy, a cornerstone of emotional intelligence, is an irreplaceable facet of effective communication and leadership.

💬 Interpersonal communication skills

Effective communication is the glue that holds organizations and societies together. Interpersonal communication skills, intertwined with emotional intelligence, empower individuals to exchange information with clarity, understanding, and empathy. The subtleties of tone, body language, and context allow humans to deliver messages in ways that resonate deeply with others.

Our recent study of HR professionals reveals that effective communication will be the second-highest prioritized soft skill (26%) for recruiters when evaluating candidates in the future, behind teamwork (33%).

☑️ Judgment/decision-making

Computers might crunch numbers and process information, but the capacity to make complex business-critical decisions remains firmly within the realm of human expertise. 

Humans possess the ability to consider multiple implications, assess context, and factor in ethical considerations when making choices. AI serves as a tool to enhance decision-making, but the ultimate responsibility rests with us. At Teamtailor, we developed a generative AI assistant called Co-pilot, made up of several complementary AI tools designed to simplify different stages of recruitment. You’re still the captain and always in control but have a co-pilot beside you whenever you need help.

According to our findings, decision-making will be the third-highest prioritized soft skill (26%) for recruiters when evaluating candidates in the future.

🗺️ Diversity and cultural intelligence

In a globally connected workforce, where borders blur and cultures converge, the importance of diversity and cultural intelligence cannot be overstated. Humans have the unique capacity to bridge cultural differences, think inclusively, and harness the richness of varied perspectives to drive innovation and progress.

🌱 Self-motivation/growth mindset

Possessing a growth mindset and the drive for self-motivation is crucial for thriving in an AI-empowered world. Recognizing that abilities can be developed over time, along with a willingness to embrace challenges and learn from failures, enables individuals to stay relevant and continue expanding their knowledge.

In conclusion, as we navigate the complexities of the modern world, soft skills will have even greater value in an automated, AI-driven workplace.

Want to see Teamtailor’s generative AI assistant, Co-pilot in action? 🚀