Pepelwerk Podcast Ep 9 - Soft Skills
Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s podcast. I’m Kim Kelley, the CEO and co-founder of Pepelwerk, and if you haven’t gotten the gist of what we do yet, then let me take this moment to explain it to you. We are the matchmakers of the working world, and we do that through connecting, through matching our talent users skills to the skills that employers need. And I realized over, even actually before we launched the product, that it was going to be a challenge to get people to realize that they have a list of skills and attributes that are valuable in the marketplace, and to get employers to understand that full sentence job descriptions and asking for a unicorn just doesn’t work. We know it doesn’t work because we’ve spent the past 35 years or more, plus, trying to do this whole resume, creative word, I got to explain something that I really have to upsell kind of thing, and I’m really excited to lead the charge for this next generation of talent so that they understand the value of their skills and abilities in the marketplace.
So let’s first discuss the difference between a soft skill and a hard skill, and soft skill, in my opinion, and actually Wikipedia and Merriam Webster’s dictionary would agree with me, a soft skill align with your social skills, and your hard skills align with the things in life that you have had to go out and seek that are technical or creative in nature. So soft skills, again, make you something like a good collaborator, a teammate, whether or not you’re really likable, and we’ll talk about likability in just a second, and skills such as whether or not you can actually communicate, whether you’re an effective listener.
Those are the soft skills, and we don’t really ask you to put those for our talent users onto our profile … onto your profile, unless those are the key skills that you have. Because really, most employers, they want that as a default. You have to learn how to function in a working world by being a good communicator, an active listener, somebody who understands the difference between collaboration and working as a solo provider or a contractor, especially if you are working in a digital environment, meaning everything that you do, produce, or how your skills come to life are through the use of a computer or the internet.
A hard skill is something, again, that you had to acquire, and a hard skill is something like whether or not you are a programmer, whether or not you are a mechanic, whether or not you have the ability to build a building. Those are architectural hard skills. Whether or not you can use Adobe Creative to deliver a sample of your work to employers. Hard skills, something that you have to learn the process of. Even for our healthcare practitioners, you have to learn how to draw blood. You have to learn how to understand the way that the body works. Whatever it is, it’s something that is hard. A hard skill is something that you’ve actually had to take the time to learn.
Now why is that so important to Pepelwerk and why is it that we are basically trying to trash the resume for the next generation? Resumes, again, and you’ve heard me say this before, are a documentary of your work history. For people who are in high school, college, just trying to figure out their career through discovery, they’re not going to have that, and if you just want work history, let’s just call it what it is, that’s a background check. And for employers, why you need to get better at defining your skills than you’ve ever had before is because you’re missing out on exceptional talent to deliver the results that your business needs by going with the old job description. A job description is something that you use to tell somebody what you want the result to be, not and then you have to reverse it to figure out, what are the skills that I need to get that done? And as employers, I think it’s about time that we do a better job of that, especially for our next generation of talent.
So there’s a number of ways that you can learn skills or get skills for the talent that want to work for your organization or you as a talent, you owning your work life. You can do it through the continued education in bricks and mortar classes, online courses, YouTube tutorials, internship, shadowing. There are so many options for you to actually learn the skills that you seek, even if they’re life skills and you feel like you missed out on learning how to budget because you just didn’t have those skills taught to you growing up. Figure it out. Internet, library. There are so many resources that you can tap into to say, “Hm, I don’t know how to do that, but I want to learn how to do that.” And whether or not that skill is marketable in the workplace, you will know through matching, and that’s a benefit that we give to our talent and our employer users, as we want to give actionable information around skills and skills that are in demand to make that work. This is Kim Kelley. Remember, we give you the tools. It’s up to you how you use them.