2018 Simon Business School graduate discusses the importance of soft skills in business

Simon Alumni Nessi Harari: Soft skills hit hard in business

March 8, 2021 | By Jillian Duggan


There’s nothing soft about soft skills. 

At the Benet Center, we take a serious approach to soft skills, prioritizing them as few schools do. But as for the term itself, we aren’t fans (when it comes to language and approach, we’re more innovative than conventional). Calling them “soft” skills seems to indicate that they’re less valuable than the black and white items showcased on a resume, but in reality, soft skills often make the critical difference between landing a position or not. 

Soft skills are the non-technical professional skills encompassing everything from how a candidate or professional interacts with colleagues, to their problem solving and time management skills. They include networking ability, listening skills, and multiple non-cognitive skills that tell a potential employer what it’s like to work with someone and whether they’re flexible and adaptable, among other things. 

In short, soft skills are crucial to professional success. 

In her presentation at the 2020 SHRM Talent Conference, Susan Collins, Director of Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding at Talbots, shared some eye-opening statistics. Ninety-seven percent of employers surveyed said that soft skills were either equally important or more important than hard skills. However, 46 percent of new employees fail within 18 months and of these, 89 percent fail because of a lack of soft skills, such as professionalism or the ability to get along with others.

Soft Skills at Simon

Our entire approach at the Benet Center is focused on preparing students for professional success. That includes placing great emphasis on job search skills and how to apply soft skills in the workplace. Our Career Action Teams facilitate bi-weekly group sessions where students address the graduate career search process, including career opportunity analysis, exploring barriers to success, crafting a more persuasive job search communication plan, and navigating changes in the labor market. Besides the Benet Center Career advisors, these small group sessions are joined by Benet Career Peers, Simon student leaders, and corporate professionals.

This support starts on Day 1 of a student’s academic tenure with Simon and remains consistent throughout the academic experience. It’s just one way the Benet Center equips students to lead in business. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from our own Nessi Harari ‘18S (MBA) on the value of the soft skills he learned at Simon, and how they’ve helped him advance in his career. 

Full-endowed and dedicated to student success, the Jay S. and Jeanne Benet Career Management Center is helping Simon to shape the future of global business by educating its leadership. Connect with us today to learn more about Simon talent, and the difference they can make in your organization. 

Jillian Duggan is the Assistant Director of Professional Development at Simon Business School's Jay S. and Jeanne Benet Career Management Center. 

To view other blogs in this series visit the Talent Connect Main Page

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