What Key Soft Skills Should Your Next Quality Assurance Specialist Possess?

Critical Shortage of Skilled People

Hiring the best Quality Assurance Specialist is crucial to the success of your company. Yet, it’s hard to find the right person.

The manufacturing industry is fast-paced and ever-evolving. Many predicted a decline in jobs as more artificial intelligence and technology was introduced. The reality is different. There is a shortage of skilled people to fill quality assurance jobs.

In their fourth skills gap study, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that manufacturing job rates have been increasing well above 10% per annum since 2017. Thus, creating a gap between employment and available skilled talent.

Whilst there is no definitive research about why there is such a gap, LinkedIn concurs. They view the situation as critical and offer some possible reasonings for the Shortage of Skilled Quality Personnel here.

For you, this means that sometimes the perfect candidate appears impossible to find.

In this article, we help you identify the must-have skills and the nice-to-have skills.

Which Quality Assurance Skills Should You Hire For?

There is no doubt that there are some skills your next Quality Assurance Specialist must have. These are essential skills that enable the candidate to hit the ground running on day one. There will also be some skills or qualities that would be nice to have.

You can separate the hard (technical skills) between must-haves and nice-to-haves reasonably easily. What technical skills must the candidate have to do their job (must-haves)? What technical skills would help them do their job more efficiently (nice-to-haves)? The nice-to-have skills can often be learned on the job.

More difficult to consider than the must-haves and nice-to-haves are the soft skills you seek in candidates. Here are the ideas we believe separate the two types of soft skills.

Must-Have Soft Skills Include:

  • Good time management – Manufacturing requires efficient time planning for completing work to quality standards. An ability to meet deadlines and keep things progressing is essential.
  • Attention to detail – A QAS must be able to complete tasks to the business specification with great attention to detail. This key skill helps avoid problems later in the process.
  • Problem solving – Meeting quality standards requires creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to overcome any challenges that may arise. An ‘outside the box’ thinker will pay dividends.
  • Written and verbal communications – Report writing, communicating with colleagues, and providing clear and understood clarity are paramount to maintaining standards. Good all-round communication is a must.
  • Multitasking – Being able to multitask means you can prioritize quickly and switch between tasks easily. A definite need in a high-pressured, fast-paced, environment.

Soft Skills That Can Add Huge Value to Your Workforce:

  • Ability to listen – This is a learned skill but has huge benefits. A good listener will absorb ideas and plans, then digest them before spotting any potential pitfalls in return.
  • Know what the stakeholders want – A practiced QAS will understand that confusing technical jargon is not what others desire to hear. They want to know about progress, challenges, and plans.
  • Play nicely – Teamwork is essential in the development of products, irrespective of industry. Being able to mix well and do the water cooler chat will go a long way to getting the job done
  • Know what to ask – Does your QAS ask all the right questions and demonstrate curiosity? Knowing who the end-user is, how it will be used etc. are key to producing a quality product.
  • Judgment and intuition – An inquisitive mind and an ability to trust one’s own judgment to solve problems will stand you in good stead. It comes with experience. ‘Tester’s intuition’, as it known, may even trump some of the hard skills.

Of course, once you have attracted good staff you might want to consider how you are going to keep them. Read our article, ‘4 Tactics to Stop Your Most Talented Manufacturing Engineers Jumping Ship for useful tips that will help to reduce your turnover and hiring costs.

How Do You Find the Best-Quality Assurance Specialists in a Tight Market?

Make a start by differentiating between the must-haves and nice-to-haves for your company. After doing this, create a job description that makes it plain which skills you most require, and which are secondary.

With our vast experience, we can help you with this – it’s one of the reasons why we are so successful at finding the best Quality Assurance Specialist candidates. Want to know more? Contact Mforce Staffing.