HR glossary / H / Hard skills

Hard skills


Hard skills refer to specific knowledge and abilities that are easily measurable and verifiable, such as the ability to use particular software, knowledge of a foreign language, or holding a specialized certificate. These are typically acquired through formal education, training, and professional practice.

In contrast to soft skills, which deal with interpersonal abilities and attitudes, hard skills are concrete and specific capabilities that can be easily presented and assessed. For instance, someone proficient in advanced graphic design software possesses a distinct hard skill.

In many professions, hard skills are a key requirement for potential candidates. They often form the basis for evaluating professional qualifications and directly impact the effectiveness of task execution.


Can hard skills be acquired throughout one's life?

Yes, hard skills can be developed at any age by attending training sessions, courses, or through independent learning.

Hard skills are measurable and specific skills that include the ability to perform technical tasks or utilize particular tools, while soft skills are intangible and relate to one’s ability to manage interpersonal interactions and adapt to changing environments. Both are crucial, but hard skills are often prerequisites for employment and directly related to task execution.

While hard skills are essential for performing specific job duties, they must be complemented by soft skills for holistic job success. Hard skills get you hired, but soft skills are what open the door to promotions and career advancement because they involve personal interaction and problem-solving abilities in real-world scenarios.


Technical proficiency

Increases efficiency and effectiveness in job-specific tasks.

Professional competitiveness

Enhances employability and candidacy for advanced job roles.

Operational excellence

Improves the quality of outputs in manufacturing or service delivery.

Innovation and development

Drives new solutions and advancements in technology and services.

Regulatory compliance

Ensures adherence to industry standards and legal requirements.

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HR glossary / H / Hard skills

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