Hard skills are quantifiable abilities that hiring managers often look for in a job applicant. They dictate whether or not the applicant can successfully perform the responsibilities of the job.
Examples of hard skills include experience and proficiency in web design, finance, engineering, writing and other disciplines. College degrees, certifications and other documents can quantify or measure expertise in these disciplines. Schools and training programs can help people develop hard skills.
In addition to hard skills, hiring managers also evaluate job applicants in terms of their soft skills. These are traits or characteristics that help maintain a healthy work relationship between colleagues and clients. Soft skills include leadership, communication, compassion, motivation and other skills that are harder to quantify due to their subjective nature. Both hard and soft skills prove an applicant's suitability in the job and workplace.