Skill battle: hard skills vs soft skills
Although Linkedin names it an article, it is rather a topic for reflection and discussion. But firstly, let us tell you our experience.
There are a lot of studies that describe hard-skills and soft-skills in details. If we applicate hard-skills to ABEA lawyers, hard-skills are deep knowledge of migration, labor and contract legislation (well, also a little bit administrative and economic law); the ability to express processes clearly and competently, both orally and in writing; knowledge of the English language. When we talk about soft-skills, they are about the ability to find a common language with everyone: from clients to officials in public authorities. It is empathy, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and so on.
Since childhood all people know how and where to get knowledge and hard-skills - schools, trainings, university, college, and so on. However, how should we get and develop soft-skills?
Soft-skills are usually manifested at the university, less often at school. Further, soft skills are sharpened at work, where life circumstances do not give a choice and teach lesson after lesson. In the future, learning soft skills depends on the person - lessons are learned, skills are developed or bounced off like a ball in a game.
Let's get back to ABEA. We always love hiring law students. The law school has not yet weared off. Knowledge is sharp and fresh. There is a huge desire to work. On the other hand, soft-skills are very often undeveloped. The reason is the absence of practice. If there was practice, it was not absorbed properly due to the huge amount of specialized material that was needed to process and learn during 6 years of law school.
During the last strategic session of the legal department, we discussed the criteria for selecting newcomers. Based on the experience of the past five years, we came to an interesting decision - to hire a specialist at least who is 24 years old.
Moreover, soft-skills became the main selection criteria.
We are convinced that one can always learn law and English, even at 50. Of course, if there is a desire. Dealing with soft-skills it is more difficult. Most of them are already developed by the age of 24. After there will be minor changes in personality.
Safety and customer care are always ABEA's priority. However, ABEA can do only a part of work. The other part must be done by the client-company or the foreigner himself. When a foreigner faces the Ukrainian state authorities (for example, border control) ABEA prepares the foreigner for a meeting in advance. Therefore, the task of a lawyer is not only to obtain, for example, a work permit and / or residence permit, but to explain the client what and how to answer possible questions from the border guard. Moreover, ABEA makes sure that the client understands the situation clearly. Telling is a half of the task. Sometimes a foreigner can just nod and smile. As a result, they come out with nothing.
In any case, we do everything to provide professional service!
Tell us about your experience. What is more important? How do you prioritize?