If you’re like most hiring managers, when evaluating a job candidate, you look at hard skills. In other words, specific and teachable skills that can be measured.
But what about soft skills?
You know, those skills that enhance a person’s job performance – like a strong work ethic, a good attitude, and an aptitude for organization – but are much harder to see, evaluate and measure. If you’re not analyzing these because it’s simply too hard, then you’re missing out on an important opportunity to find the best candidate for your job opening.
The good news, though, is that you can test for these skills; you just have to know what you’re looking for, use the right techniques, and ask smart questions. Here are some tips to help you:
#1: Communication skills.
As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, Provisional knows that most jobs, across the board, require strong communication skills. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate them.
When it comes to written skills, use each candidate’s cover letter and resume as your guide. Were the documents well written? Were they error free? Was the candidate articulate in explaining why they’d be a good fit for the position?
For verbal skills, simply ask candidates questions beyond the “yes” and “no” that encourage a more detailed explanation. For instance, “Tell me about your most challenging project,” “Tell me about a time you made a mistake on the job,” or “Tell me about your biggest professional accomplishment.”
#2: Interpersonal skills.
If you ask a candidate “Are you a people person?,” or “Do you like working with people?,” most candidates will respond in the affirmative, regardless of the truth. That’s why you need to dig a little deeper and ask questions that will help you uncover a candidate’s true nature; for instance “How would your co-workers describe you?” or “What was your relationship like with your last boss?”
Clearly, integrity is an important personality attribute for any candidate you want to hire, whether entry level or executive. To evaluate a candidate’s level of integrity, ask questions like “What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical on the job?” or “Are there any types of business situations in which you think honesty would be inappropriate?”
Conducting personality tests, also known as behavioral assessments or predictive tests, are a good way to measure whether a candidate will be a fit for the job and for the company’s culture. The results of these tests can help you tell whether a particular candidate is easy to manage, driven, a team player, and good at building relationships.
Need More Help Evaluating Soft Skills?
If you do, let Provisional know. As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, we partner with several strategic companies to offer a full range of employment screening solutions to ensure the highest quality employees. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make smart hiring decisions.