Professionals must have soft skills set, panel claims

IFSEC 2017 Ensuring candidates have softer non-technical skills is crucial for recruiting health and safety professionals, a panel has claimed at the SHExpo keynote theatre. Anna Keen, director of Acre, which has been building a competency framework with 50 leading professionals, said the firm was really starting to see a change around what clients are looking for . The firm built a psychometric profiling tool that shows not just who you are, but the impact of your character against core competencies and the results showed a number of interesting findings about health and safety professionals.

She said: We wanted to give people an understanding in how they could progress their career and understand what their teams looked like. There were a number of things that challenge the stereotypes, we were seeing a lot about high-caring individuals, and natural intrigue. Confidence Keen said one of the key discoveries was about confidence. She said: It s a real issue having the confidence to challenge at executive level and with those people who you work with on an everyday level. Self-awareness is also something we are challenging too and how they understand themselves. For example, if someone says they aren t good with data, we looked at how that impacts their business. Richard White, quality, health, safety and environment (QSHE) director at CBRE said the themes from Keen were now commonplace . He said: My view has changed. I used to think a relevant degree was the most important aspect, but now it s also about softer skills, the ability to present and speak the right commercial language of the business, and you can train the other technical aspects required.

Softer skills are crucial to the success. Never enough Ruth Denyer, head of operational risk at ITV, agreed: You can never have enough technical knowledge to do every production it s all about engagement with those that can help. The technical piece gives you a comfort factor, and the engagement piece is much softer. You have to change your thinking about White said: You can t be good at everything if you get the right mix of people around you, that works for the whole team. Keen also said that Acre found people recruiting a reflection of themselves , which needed to change. Broad church Denyer added the entire way conversations were held with associated elements of other industries and professions was also needed across risk assessment. Health and safety is just one of the risks being is managed there is a lot which can be learned from the broader risk framework. Much broader conversations about risk are required. Visit Europe s leading security event in June 2017 Visit IFSEC International for exclusive access to every security product on the market, live product demonstrations and networking with thousands of security professionals.

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