As a business owner, having the right employees for your organization is essential. It’s important to ensure that each person hired has the technical abilities and experience needed to do their job. However, what makes a great employee often goes beyond hard skill expertise; soft skills are also a key part of successful teams. Even though it may seem hard to judge these seemingly intangible qualities during the hiring process, there are ways to find and evaluate potential hires based on their soft skills. Champion Personnel is here to help you connect with the candidates that are the right fit for your organization. In this article, we cover soft skills and outline the necessary steps to help evaluate talent.
Defining Soft Skills and Why They Matter in the Hiring Process
Soft skills are the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with others and work productively in a team or organizational setting. These skill sets are important for a fruitful career, and especially during the hiring process. Recruiters often quickly assess how well job seekers will fit into a particular role and how well they’ll interact with colleagues by understanding one’s interpersonal attributes. So, what exactly do these competencies look like? Soft skills are a collection of capabilities and include but are not limited to:
- Communication, both verbal and non-verbal
- Critical thinking
- Emotional intelligence
- Time management
A combination of these character traits plays a vital role in shaping an individual’s professional potential, so it’s crucial to identify and assess these qualities carefully to ensure the best hiring connections.
Interviewing for Key Soft Skills
During the interview process, assessing a potential employee’s ability to interact with others and communicate effectively can be an important factor in determining whether the right hiring decision has been made. When initiating a conversation with potential personnel, it is crucial to keep an eye out for specific characteristics, such as the ability to communicate verbally and nonverbally, as well as interpersonal skills, because these are all potential indicators of how successful a new employee may be. It is essential to recognize these characteristics and engage the applicant in a meaningful discussion to ascertain whether they possess the required skill sets and are a good fit for the position. For example, and as a takeaway, pose behavioral questions to probe for soft skills effectively, such as:
- If you could talk about a time when you had to lead a team through a challenging situation, what would it be?
- How do you manage your time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by your to-do list?
- What is your first step when given a task with little or no guidance?
When it comes to interviewing, assessing a candidate’s interpersonal attributes can be a challenge. Traditional hiring criteria often focus on hard skills, such as technical expertise or educational background, which can lead to overlooking important qualities employers need. To gauge a candidate’s ability to work in teams, communicate effectively, think critically under pressure, and handle setbacks – behavioral questions are an effective way to gain insight.
Spot Skills Beyond Technical Knowledge
When assessing candidates, it’s crucial to go beyond technical knowledge to ensure the right fit. Yes, having talent that can accomplish a task based on prior experience is critical; however, to have a foundationally strong pool of adaptive candidates, look for people who can communicate effectively and display an interest in the company’s mission. It’s also necessary to evaluate an individual’s problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence, which can be more difficult to ascertain, although reviews from previous employers and references can be helpful in this regard.
The Role of Reference Checks in the Candidate Assessment Process
Reference checks are essential for uncovering the full scope of a candidate’s skill set beyond what interviews and resumes can provide. These outlets of insight can provide an invaluable look into an individual’s soft skills, such as their ability to collaborate, manage pressure, and make decisions within a teamwork environment. Integrating reference checks into the recruitment and selection process can yield a better understanding of what potential talent is truly capable of. This comprehensive approach to recruitment enables employers to make the best decisions for their organizations, ensuring they hire the right people who will thrive in their unique company cultures.
At Champion Personnel, we understand the need for a tailored recruitment approach that assesses both technical and soft skills. Our experienced recruiting professionals will help you source the highest quality personnel for your organization’s needs. Take the first step towards building a successful and fulfilling team by contacting us today.