How to Assess Soft Skills in Hiring? Key to Long-Term Success

Female applicant in a job interview with the HR manager

How to Assess Soft Skills in Hiring? Key to Long-Term Success

If someone is looking great on paper, it doesn’t imply he will be great in person too. Soft skills make all the difference. These are the personal traits that assess whether a person is good to work with. These are crucial for performance and cultural fit. But at the same time, it can be challenging to assess soft skills as they are subjective and not easily measurable. However, in this blog, we will share some techniques and pre-established methods to assess soft skills.

Review resume and cover letter

Carefully review resume and cover letter and look for indicators for different soft skills like communication, teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, leadership. 

Behavior interview questions

Behavior interviews questions are very helpful in assessing various soft skills. Ask open-ended questions from candidate and you can even ask about some examples. For instance: You can ask to share about a situation when they had to work under pressure in the past.

Use situational or Hypothetical questions

Firstly, a recruiter has to know what type of skills they are looking for in their ideal candidate. There are some soft skills which are prerequisite for a performance in particular role and then there are some which are important for a good cultural fit. Recruiter can ask situational questions on the skills they are looking for and can then assess candidate’s soft skills based on the answers provided. 

Reference Checks

Call candidate’s previous employer to gather information on some of the soft skills like communication, ability to work in a team and under stressful situations, Team-work initiatives, leadership qualities etc. You will be able to get a good insight into various soft skills if you have a pre-built questionnaire according to your soft skills requirement for reference checks.

Presentations and written assessments

Candidate can be given some written assessments and presentation to prepare depending on the positionPresentations are another important method to assess candidate’s communication skills, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Observation and non-verbal cues

Pay attention to candidate’s body language while interviewing or during general interactions to assess emotional intelligence, confidence and communication skills. 

Involve Multiple Interviewers

 Having panel interviews add multiple perspectives into the hiring decision and can therefore prevent from hiring based on a single person’s opinion. You can also have one-on-one interviews with multiple interviewers in order to get better insight into candidate’s background from different viewpoints.

Cultural Fit Assessments

Assessments for cultural fit are used to gauge how well a candidate fits the culture, mission, and values of the organization. The purpose of cultural fit evaluations is to ascertain whether a candidate would flourish in the company culture and current team dynamics.

Time Management Exercises

Candidate can be given a certain task to complete in a particular time. This well help assessing candidate’s time management skills and ability to prioritize and multitask.

Psychometric Assessments

There are some pre-built Psychometric assessments offered by some companies to assess soft skills. Depending on the requirements, recruiters can use these assessments to make a better hiring decision. 

Role-Play Exercises

Create hypothetical situations or simulations in which applicants must act out their soft skills, such as handling customer complaints or facilitating a team meeting.

Decision-Making Exercises

Decision-making exercise are very helpful in assessing how good a candidate is in decision making under tight deadlines. Candidate can be given with a project to increases sales in particular amount of time. This will help measure candidate’s decision-making abilities. 

Emotional Intelligence Assessments

Emotional intelligence exercises are used to examine a candidate’s capacity to comprehend, control and manage their own emotions as well as those of others. A recruiter can assess candidate’s self-awareness by asking questions that compel them to consider their feelings and by asking questions about their strengths and weaknesses. There are certain ways to assess emotional intelligence, like by asking how they handle pressure, disputes, and other critical situations.

Have the candidate rank their soft skills

Candidate can be asked to rank their soft skills from strongest to weakest. Some candidates may try to lie and will rate their skills according to recruiter’s requirement. But some candidates will be honest in giving answers. If a candidate doesn’t possess any of the skills you are looking for or is weakest in those areas, you can easily eliminate that candidate.

Pre-Employment Personality Tests

Personality tests are beneficial in assessing certain soft skills like ability to work in a team, emotional intelligence etc. Personality tests are used to determine a candidate’s personality and a recruiter can then decide if a particular candidate is a good fit for company culture or not

Team-work assessments

Anyone can say he is a good team player but a recruiter can’t get to know until candidates shows a proof. One way to assess teamwork ability is a team-work assessment. A Candidate can be asked to work in a team and do this when he lest expects it. Giving a surprise assessment will better determine how good a team player he actually is.

Leadership simulations or exercises

If a role requires leadership qualities, a recruiter has a responsibility to assess these traits carefully. Anyone can be a boss, but it takes something extra to be a good leader and that is great leadership skillsA candidate can be asked to lead a team for a complex project in real- life.

Conflict Resolution Scenarios

A Recruiter can ask scenario-based questions to assess conflict resolution skills. For e.g., Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict within your team and how you did it. This will help gain insights into candidate’s ability to sort out conflicts successfully.

At the end, we can say that it’s very important to assess soft skills along with hard skills carefully. A recruiter should adopt a holistic approach to do so. It is also important to choose techniques that aligns well with organization’s hiring process. Utilizing a variety of tactics can help you get a complete understanding of the candidate’s soft skills. Visit our website to get your next job.

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