Scientific Staffing

Hiring for Soft Skills is Key to Business Success in 2023

Scientific Staffing

January 5, 2023

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When hiring new employees, it is important to consider soft and hard skills. Soft skills are often neglected when it comes to evaluating candidates. While hard skills are easily quantifiable – data analysis, HPLC, Sampling Techniques, etc. – soft skills can be just as important in the workplace. Soft skills include a range of interpersonal capabilities like communication and collaboration, problem-solving and analytical reasoning, leadership, and emotional intelligence.

Evaluating soft and hard skills also ensures that you make well-rounded hires who will contribute positively to your organization. By considering soft and hard skills, you can create an effective workforce with the right mix of talents for success.

Hard Skills Vs. Soft Skills

Hard skills usually refer to things that can be taught and measured. These are acquired through education, training, or experience on the job. Examples of hard skills include:

  • Data analysis
  • Sampling Techniques
  • HPLC
  • Research and Technical Knowledge
  • Engineering

Soft skills involve interpersonal qualities such as communication and leadership. These are often referred to as soft skills because they’re harder to quantify than hard skills but are still essential for successful performance in many roles. Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Why are soft skills important?

Soft skills can help employers differentiate between candidates with similar qualifications. Strong soft skills are a good representation of how an individual interacts in the workplace. Whether presenting an idea to a team, solving a complex problem, or managing projects and personnel, soft skills can make all the difference in achieving success. Soft skills are even more important as companies become increasingly reliant on technology and automation; humans need to be able to fill in the gaps that technology and robotics can’t.

Some soft skills to look for are: 


Communication is perhaps the most critical of all soft skills. It’s crucial that candidates understand how to articulate their thoughts clearly and effectively so that everyone involved can comprehend them without any confusion or misinterpretation. This should include verbal and written communication such as emails, memos, reports, etc. Being able to express opinions constructively and listen attentively to others is also key for successful collaboration and teamwork within a company.

Time Management

Time management is a soft skill that’s essential for any job. It helps employees prioritize tasks, allocate resources efficiently, and be productive in their day-to-day operations. A successful candidate should also demonstrate an ability to multi-task and manage competing deadlines without sacrificing the quality of work.


Leadership encompasses more than just having authority over others; it involves inspiring confidence in those around you while also being able to make decisions that are beneficial for the team’s success in general. Good leaders should be able to motivate employees by identifying their strengths, offering support where needed, providing constructive criticism, and committing themselves to achieve shared goals while embodying professional integrity.


Problem-solving consists of being able to identify issues quickly and then come up with solutions in an efficient manner while considering various options along the way. Problem solvers should have a knack for analyzing data logically while understanding how each decision could affect future outcomes; this also includes being able to anticipate potential risks before they occur or develop contingency plans if something does go wrong.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is not something typically taught in school. Still, it’s one of the most desirable traits employers look for when assessing a candidate’s overall suitability for a certain role or position. EQ refers to someone’s ability to recognize different emotions in themselves and those around them; this includes empathizing with colleagues without passing judgment or letting personal feelings get in the way of decision-making processes at work. People with high EQ levels tend to have better self-awareness which helps them guide their behavior better so that it doesn’t hurt themselves or those around them professionally or personally.

How can employers assess a candidate’s soft skills?

There are several ways that employers can assess a candidate’s soft skills, including:

Interview questions: If the employer is conducting an in-person or virtual interview, they can ask questions designed to assess a candidate’s soft skills. Example questions:

  • ‘Describe a situation where you overcame a challenging obstacle in the workplace?’
  • ‘How do you handle conflict when working with team members?’

Assessment tests: Employers can also use assessment tests designed to provide insight into a candidate’s soft skill capabilities, such as:

  • EQ tests
  • Personality tests
  • Situational judgment tests

Utilize a staffing partner

A staffing partner can help save time and resources for busy hiring managers and HR teams. Staffing partners can pre-screen potential candidates on soft and hard skills and provide skill assessments. This will help speed up the hiring process by providing employers with pre-qualified candidates that meet their needs.


Overall, it’s important to evaluate hard and soft skills when hiring employees to make the most well-rounded hires for your business. Doing so can increase employee productivity, foster better leadership capabilities, develop problem-solving abilities among staff, and identify candidates who possess the necessary soft skills for success in any role or position within the company.

About Astrix

Astrix is the unrivaled market leader in creating and delivering innovative strategies, solutions, and people to the life science community. Through world-class people, processes, and technology, we work with clients to fundamentally improve business and scientific outcomes and the quality of life everywhere.

Founded by scientists to solve the unique challenges of the life science community, Astrix offers a growing array of strategic, technical, and staffing services designed to deliver value to clients across their organizations.



Contact us today and let’s begin working on a solution for your most complex strategy, technology and staffing challenges.

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