All you must-know about Hiring for Soft Skills 

Whether you are a drudging recruiter or a hiring manager, bringing in the ideal people takes creativity, resourcefulness and (occasionally) a bit of small luck. Candidates might have their skills locked but what about things like adaptability or team spirit?

Job, in its core, is a social undertaking. Most of us need to interact with customers, clients or colleagues. And the AI in the world is not going to alter that: a recent Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital Trends study shows there is still flooding demand for cognitive skills, problem-solving and social skills. 

Trouble is, although it is relatively simple to screen for hard abilities, how do you assess for things like compassion? This can pose a challenge (although it’s the soft skills) which can be crucial to the post-hire performance of your candidate. Let’s look at a few methods to handle this:

Requesting for soft skills

It’s easy to ask for certain abilities when advertising an open job role, but how do you make sure people actually have them? When responding to job postings, applicants should address the skills you are looking for by including examples of cover letters and resumes.

Cover letters can especially be intriguing. Not everybody includes nowadays, but they can still be useful as applicants need to describe what it is about the job that aligns with them as a person.

Of course, nobody is going to answer to your job advertisement stating that they hate people and are totally unreliable. To drill to skills, you have to wait to interview them.

Interview for soft skills

Here is the good news: You can evaluate soft skills without directly addressing them. 

For instance…

  • Maintaining eye contact and asking good questions show active listening.
  • Arriving on time shows punctuality and dependability.
  • Telling stories that correlate to job demands shows successful communication.
  • Giving due credit to staff members reveals integrity.

To dive deeper, you can run behavior-based interviews. Together with the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result). Request applicants to inform you stories to elicit how they handled various situations.

Here are some questions you can tweak for the functions you’re trying to fill.

  • Conflict resolution: Describe a major issue with others on the job and the way you helped resolve it.

Answers reveal work habits and how they approach issues.

  • Creativity: How could creative thinking be important your job-role?

Most jobs require creativity. In the event it is dismissed by the candidate, they’re missing the point.

  • Critical thinking: Think about a mission you had been given that was unclear or off-base. How did you handle it?

Replies reveal logical reasoning and evaluation skills, and how they handle fragile matters.

  • Empathy: Why did you leave (or are you leaving) your previous employer?

You’re looking for answers that place their former employer in a positive light.

  • Problem-solving: Tell me about a time you prevented tragedy in a work crisis.

Savvy candidates will tell a story about the way they averted disaster before the tragedy happened.