Hard Skills refer to learned skills that can usually be measured and proven. For example, this includes language or programming skills.
This refers to qualifications and job-relevant skills that can be measured through tests, grades, certificates, degrees and titles. Hard Skills are clearly defined because they can easily be proven and demonstrated. This is why Hard Skills can effortlessly be checked and, if needed, traced back.
Foundational cornerstones are laid during education/training. Fundamental Hard Skills are developed and consolidated through additional qualifications. Hard Skills are not only developed in education/training but are also gained in practice. Several years of work experience following, for example, university studies are essential to apply, expand and deepen the acquired hard skills.
The required hard skills depend on the respective sector. Retail or management obviously require a different set of Hard Skills than manual labour or an occupation in the medical field.
The counterpart to Hard Skills are the so-called Soft Skills, which relate to social components and personality traits. This is why Soft Skills are somewhat broader and harder to grasp than Hard Skills.
The importance of sector-specific Hard Skills is out of question. However, the importance of interpersonal interaction has also increased (or, depending on the sector, is required anyway), which is why employees can definitely benefit equally from Soft Skills and should not dismiss their importance over the course of their education/training.