What is the difference between hard and soft competences?

There are many definitions of competences. The most popular say that competencies are the characteristics of an employee in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes, thanks to which the employee is able to perform tasks at the required level and within a specified time. Competences are distinguished between hard and soft. How are they different?

Hard competences are specific and measurable skills of employees. They define the skills necessary to perform certain activities. The assessment of hard competences can be performed using a point scale that indicates the level of mastery of a given skill, e.g. 1 – an employee performs basic activities, 2 – an employee performs an activity independently, 3 – an employee works above standards, 4 – an expert on a given activity. The hard competences include, among others technical, professional and specialist skills, e.g. programming skills, skills related to working in computer programs or specific skills that an employee performs at the workplace.

Soft skills define the specific behavior of an employee. They relate to social skills and psychophysical characteristics. No less important than hard competences, they may turn out to be more difficult to assess, because soft competences may consist of indicators that need to be assessed. While hard competences are assessed on a point scale, soft competences are assessed using a behavioral scale, i.e. according to the description of specific behaviors. Soft skills include the ability to pursue goals, dispositional predispositions and the ability to work in a team.

The SkillBox Competence Matrix enables the assessment of hard competences thanks to the competency assessment module and the assessment of soft skills thanks to the employee periodic assessment system. The ability to define point scales and behavioral scales will allow you to present a comprehensive picture of human capital, and the report module will allow you to simulate personnel decisions based on the assessments held by employees in relation to the required for individual positions or areas.

Take advantage of the 21-day DEMO version and check how SkillBox supports employee management!

You can also use the Skills Matrix template, thanks to which you will systematize the competences of your employees!

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