Impellus Guest Speaker and TV star suggests that leading edge comes from soft skills.

It’s people who breathe life into business, which is why attracting and retaining talent should always be a priority.

A successful business is built on the passion and quality of the people within it, so recruiting and keeping the best talent is just as vital as managing finances and generating sales.

“When I find someone I believe has the ability and personality to add value to the business, I will create a role specifically for them” says Dragons Den star James Caan. To get the best team, there are a few things you should be looking out for.

Caan is involved with a cross-industry coalition including McDonald’s, Aon, Mencap and the National Youth Agency which is asking for a formal framework to better promote and recognise soft skills. ”Too many employers” comments Caan “put all their energy into finding the most qualified person, overlooking other capabilities. Sometimes qualifications are not the be all and end all – communication, teamwork and time-management skills can be far more important. If you’re too preoccupied with qualifications, you could end up having a team with all the gear but no idea.”

According to Caan “One other thing I also focus on is decision making – we need to make decisions every day, but not everyone is comfortable in doing that. People who are effective at making decisions progress up the career ladder better.”

Better promote and recognise soft skills

Better promote and recognise soft skills

Caan did not benefit from a university degree, he had to rely on soft skills more than most and being able to demonstrate those has had a positive impact on his career. His advice is to incorporate soft skills into a CV, give examples. “There are activities that will test your teamworking, time management and self-management skills, whether that is working on a project or doing a presentation.”

Richard Forte, chief operations officer for McDonald’s UK agrees “conveying (on an application form)how you have been part of a team, shows you can communicate, work in groups and make decisions in a fast moving stressful environment.”

Remember to focus on the importance of polishing your soft skills to give you an edge in the workplace.