Soft skills in hiring

What are soft skills in hiring?

What are soft skills?

More attention is being paid to hiring candidates with the right soft skills. They are critical to the successful  job performance and alignment with corporate culture. As a result, 93% of employers consider soft-skills to be an "essential" or "significant" factor in their hiring decisions.

However, unlike qualifications and skills acquired through education and training, soft skills are harder to learn, measure and evaluate. More than 60% of hiring managers agree that testing for or against these skills is challenging. Therefore, companies often look for innovative approaches to defining soft skills among their employees.

Why are soft skills important?

Without the necessary set of soft skills to back up task-related knowledge, you might as well hire a robot or replace the position with an automated program. As business process automation steadily increases, the only thing that separates us from robots is possessing a set of soft skills.

Moreover, statistics tell us that up to 67% of hiring managers are willing to hire a candidate with good soft skills, even if they do not have technical abilities that may be required for a specific role.

Examples of soft skills

Skills that companies most often look for in their potential candidates:

  • Non-technical skills that relate to how the candidate works

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to solve problems independently

  • Time management

  • Adaptability

  • Reliability

  • Self-motivation

  • Communication skills

  • High emotional intelligence

The perfect candidate should have both excellent professional aptitude for a particular job and a set of soft skills. Emotionally developed employees who care about each other and customers can increase productivity and revenue - statistically even up to $90,000 in some cases.

How to find out a candidate's soft skills?

Let's assume that you have already scheduled an interview and you can observe how the candidate will behave in a stressful situation. You should pay attention to the following psychological points:

1. How does the candidate behave when they think no one is watching?

2. How does the candidate interact with others before being invited into the meeting room?

3. Do they greet your colleagues with a smile, are they polite, and demonstrate a willingness to communicate?

4. If other applicants are waiting for their interviews, do they greet them or ignore them?

5. Are they interested in company materials that are left at the front desk?

6. How is the candidate dressed? (Pay attention only to neatness, style should not play a major role in the first interview, unless the candidate has been asked for a specific dress code beforehand).

7. How does the candidate sit at the table - upright, swaying, or nervous, giving signs that they don't want to be here?

8. Did the candidate arrive late to the interview, postpone or reschedule without good reason?

9. Do they maintain eye contact during the interview?

10. How do they gesticulate during the interview?

11. Do they interrupt you during the interview?

12. Do they show excitement and interest at the mention of a possible job offer?

These points will show you how nervous the candidate is, how they respond to a stressful situation, how well they maintain self control, and how respectful they would likely be towards their colleagues.

What questions will help test soft skills?

Behavioral and situational questions

  • Provide a hypothetical situation and ask them, how would you behave?

  • How was it to work with a person with whom it was difficult to find common ground? How did you handle this interaction?

  • Did you take responsibility for establishing communication with difficult co-workers?

Questions about previous work experience

  • What role did you play on the team other than your responsibilities?

  • Have you taken on an executive role, been an idea generator, inspired others, may have been a negotiating leader, etc.?

  • What stressful situations have you experienced and how did you resolve them?

  • What kind of relationship model did you have with your subordinates/leaders in your previous job? What kind of relationship model would you like to build if you are hired?

Personality profile questions

  • What professional competencies do you possess?

  • What soft skills do you possess?

  • Why do you consider yourself a professional in this particular field?

  • How do your soft skills help you do your job tasks better?

  • What soft-skills do you need to work on better?

Pay attention to whether they are honestly trying to talk about what skills they are better at, what they have encountered, and what they have had problems with. If the candidate avoids answering what they need to work on, or only talks about the positives, but they suit you in terms of professional competencies, proceed with caution.

Soft skills are an indispensable element in the daily work with an employee, which will determine not only the result of their work, efficiency and potential, but will also highlight how they can improve communication and relationships with their team. HRM software will help you identify both the competencies and soft skills of the candidate, which you can leave in their profile notes and use as an auxiliary factor in the selection for the position.

If you are interested in the possibility of defining soft skills of your employees then please contact our managers who will tell you how to automate candidate selection with PeopleForce.

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