Prioritizing and Testing for Soft Skills

We have said it before, and we will say it again: Possessing particular soft skills are a crucial part of a good employee. It can be difficult to scan for these soft skills in a phone call or an interview. Having a lengthy conversation with a candidate can only take you so far. How do we properly assess soft skills?

Field Test

Have your serious candidates do a field test or shadow for the day. While some positions may typically require candidates to perform a literal test of their skills (e.g., welding), having them shadow your employee(s) may also benefit your hiring process. Have your employees show them the ropes of how your company functions. See if they adapt, question, seek to learn, etc. Through this, you can assess how well they work with others, how they respond to criticism, and how well they adapt to new ways of doing things.

Previous Experience

Tap into what they have done and how they reacted to situations in previous positions. During the interview, you can ask about dealing with different situations and how the candidate responded. You can also ask them their preferences about collaborating with people, trying new things, and the like. They will give clues about how they work with others and react to challenges. While it can be helpful to specifically ask about their experiences that will highlight their soft skills, take things with a grain of salt. We all try to make ourselves sound flawless/perfectly flawed in interviews.

Online Assessment

Ask your candidates to complete an online strengths assessment! These tests have been around for many years. They can give you a good idea as to what your candidate’s strengths are, as well as where they may fall short. Once a candidate passes the first round of interviews, you will send them the test to complete. You can discuss the results with them in the following interview. Give them the opportunity to speak to how accurately they think it represents them.

Recognizing the right soft skills is key to choosing the right candidate. Now more than ever, we have the tools to test for them. Get out there and fill that role with the best candidate!


Should Companies Pay Candidates for Their Time?

Should companies pay candidates to interview for their open positions? According to career coach and business author Sue Ellson, candidates should receive compensation for interviewing. And based on a recent LinkedIn News poll, 25% of respondents currently agree. Job interviews ask a lot from applicants, including phone screenings, panel interviews, aptitude tests, and even taking time from work. And let’s be honest, some company’s hiring processes can take weeks or even months before they make a decision. Ellson’s argument is, “if there’s money in it, it might make everybody more accountable.” Basically, Ellson points out that if employers paid candidates for their time, it would cut down on wasteful interview activities and streamline the process.

However, before companies resort to paying candidates for their time spent interviewing, here are three other ways employers can improve their hiring processes and offer a better candidate experience.

Be transparent with candidates

Transparency throughout the hiring process will go a long way. Sharing details such as your company’s perks, WFH/hybrid policy, or even providing the salary range will significantly improve the interviewing experience and save all parties time, money, and opportunity costs. Transparency starts with the job description. You can share details often left out, such as benefits, salary range, perks, and insights into your company’s culture. These details are important to applicants and will help you narrow down your candidate pool before you even start interviewing. By sharing these features from the beginning, you will naturally weed out job seekers looking for something else. Plus, it will save both parties substantial amounts of time and resources.

Also, you can demonstrate transparency by sharing details such as the steps in the interviewing process and the hiring decision timetable. This clarity creates accountability for your hiring team to stay on track while informing candidates on the next steps of the process.

Streamline your hiring process

After your hiring team bolsters your transparency, it’s time to identify areas to simplify your company’s hiring process. Take a look at the last couple of years and calculate your time to fill (TTF) for your open positions. According to SHRM, the average time to fill is 42 days. This timeframe will depend on your industry, but if your company’s average TTF is well beyond this benchmark, it’s time to improve your process. You can do this by identifying steps that need to be restructured or even eliminated altogether. You can do this by transitioning to virtual interviews, using an ATS system to identify the most qualified applicants, or removing an entire step in your process. However you choose to streamline your hiring process, these actions will significantly improve your candidate experience.

Provide feedback to candidates

Finally, if you want to improve your candidate experience, you can provide feedback to your interviewees after the hiring process. It is very rare for a hiring manager to give feedback to candidates. Typically, applicants will receive a vague, auto-generated email when they are passed on. If a candidate wants feedback, they usually have to request it from the hiring manager, and it’s a toss-up if they ever receive a response.

So, if you want to show your appreciation for your interviewees’ time, take a moment to give them some feedback. Was a candidate missing a particular skill set? Did they not do a great job answering a specific question? Whatever the feedback is, take a few moments to share your thoughts, and it will go a long way. Providing some input will give your candidates valuable information to improve their odds of receiving an offer in the future.

Not interested in paying candidates to interview?

So, do you think that companies should pay candidates for their time spent interviewing? This is obviously a provocative idea, but it definitely should make you think about what you, as an employer, can do to improve your candidate experience. And if you are looking for more ways to streamline your hiring process, check out our client resources! There are hundreds of helpful tools, tips, and advice to build a better strategy for your hiring team.

How to Streamline Your Virtual Hiring Process

As business operations continue to reopen and return to somewhat normal, employers are ramping up their hiring efforts. If your company was actively interviewing and hiring candidates during the pandemic, you undoubtfully had to change your hiring strategy. As many of us transition back to the office (or a hybrid schedule), video interviewing is becoming permanent. About 81% of talent professionals worldwide agree that virtual interviewing will continue post-pandemic, and 70% believe it will become the new standard. So, if your company is maintaining a virtual hiring process, how do you streamline it to get the best results?

Establish a cohesive virtual hiring process

As you navigate today’s competitive (and often frustrating) job market, you must establish a cohesive virtual hiring process. This new protocol will likely be a mix of your pre-pandemic hiring efforts and your more recent practices that you had to adjust while working remotely. Essentially, you want to create a standardized process that you can consistently utilize across your entire company. Once you establish this process, you want to document it and make it available to all hiring managers. The more transparent your new process is, the smoother the transition will be across the board.

Test necessary technologies

Like we recommend to all job seekers, you must test the technologies you will be enlisting to implement your virtual hiring process. If you worked remotely for over a year, you probably had your Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other technologies dialed in. However, if you are back in the office, it’s best to reexamine your tools to ensure everything is working properly. Technology is great when it works, but you may face some kinks with your communication tools when returning to the office. Review all your technologies and run some tests before conducting any video interviews to ensure a seamless experience for both parties.

Be transparent with candidates from the beginning

Being transparent throughout your virtual hiring process is essential to its success. From outlining your remote work policy to detailing your timetable of making a hiring decision, it’s crucial to be transparent with candidates. The fewer questions that are left unanswered, the better experience you will create for your interviewees. You can clarify many of these issues in your job descriptions. Giving a glimpse of your culture, remote work requirements, and other details before candidates even apply generates a substantial competitive advantage. For example, if you are not supporting a hybrid workforce, you can save yourself (and prospective applicants) a lot of valuable time by outlining that in your job description. The more details you can share at the begging of the process, the more efficient it will be.

Develop standardized interview questions

Have you ever been to a panel interview, and each interviewer takes turns monotonously asking a list of basic questions? Yeah, most of us have. While we are not recommending such a dry interviewing process, it is essential to develop standardized interview questions. Obviously, some of these questions may differ from department to department, but having a core group of interview questions is key to success. Standardized questions will allow you to compare candidates on an equal playing field and help your hiring team eliminate any unconscious biases.

Pro tip: You can also record remote interviews so you can refer back to a candidate’s specific response or share with a colleague that may have had to step out unexpectedly. Just make sure you let each candidate know they are being recorded.

Treat candidates as if they were interviewing in-person

Treating candidates the same as if it was an in-person interview is probably the most vital step. Let’s face it, video conversations with someone you have never met before can be a little awkward. It can be challenging to develop some small talk or banter to make the interview more conversational. However, do your best to treat the interview as if it was face-to-face. Have everyone on the hiring team mute their phones and work notifications, dress appropriately, and eliminate any other distractions. It can be tempting to veer over to a work email while talking with a candidate. However, please give them the respect they deserve by devoting your attention to them.

If you are struggling to make the interview more conversational, you can ask a few fun questions at the beginning. These ice breaker questions will help the interviewer be more comfortable and help them open up a bit. Also, body language is crucial! Don’t forget to smile, make good eye contact, and nod your head to illustrate that you are listening. Your interviewees will reciprocate this energy, and the interview will overall be more productive.

Need more help developing your virtual hiring process?

Transitioning to a virtual hiring process can be tricky, but these five tips will help your streamline your process and yield better results. If you are looking for more tips to improve your hiring practices, take a look at our Client Resources!

These 7 Deal Breakers Could Be Costing You Candidates

Modern-day candidates have different priorities than even just a few years ago. And when a hiring process is less than ideal, they aren’t settling. Top talent will wait for an opportunity that matches their wish list and a hiring process that demonstrates they would be a valued team member. “Each touchpoint in the recruitment process vitally matters to job seekers,” explains Richard Wahlquist, ASA President and CEO. During challenging economic times, companies cannot afford to miss important details that prevent candidates from applying to their jobs or accepting job offers. Here are seven deal breakers that could prevent candidates from accepting job offers.

Inappropriate Interview Questions

Over half (53%) of U.S. people say that inappropriate interview questions would deter them from accepting a job offer from a company. These inappropriate questions can range from flat-out illegal to simply distasteful. So, what questions should you ask? Here are a few of our recent favorites.

Unrealistic Job Or Skill Requirements

51% of candidates simply won’t apply to a job that lists unrealistic job or skill requirements in the description. Consider dialing it back on your job description to cast the widest net possible for diverse and qualified candidates. You can always narrow down necessary skills later on in the job process.

Misrepresenting Job Duties

Similar to unrealistic requirements, candidates tend to feel tricked if the job turns out to be a complete 180 from what they first applied to. In fact, 50% of candidates won’t accept a job offer if they feel the duties have been misrepresented. So, even when simplifying your job description, be sure to keep it honest and in line with the actual job. (If you’re looking for more job description advice, check out what makes a great job description here.)

Aggressive Behavior Of Recruiter Or Hiring Manager

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and in the case of candidate pursuit, that certainly seems to be the case. 49% of top talent doesn’t want to be aggressively pursued or given unrealistic ultimatums. Instead, they value a recruiter or hiring manager who prioritizes their needs during a hiring process.

Not Responding To Questions About Open Positions

Job applications are a significant time investment for candidates. And for 38% of candidates, it’s a deal-breaker if questions go unanswered. If they reach out with questions during the application process, it leaves a lasting impact if they get an immediate and direct answer. Similarly, during the interview process, great candidates will come prepared with a list of important questions. They will value interviewers who take the time to answer thoughtfully.

Poor Follow-Up By Recruiting Or Hiring Manager

We’ve all heard horror stories from both sides of the desk regarding ghosting during the hiring process. 37% of candidates will be turned away from a job if the communication process is lacking. Be sure to layout clear next steps and follow through with timelines throughout the entire hiring process. (Yes, even if you’re turning a candidate down!)

No Face-To-Face Contact During Hiring Process

Admittedly, this one can be challenging amidst the recovery from a global pandemic. However, face-to-face interaction is still important to 30% of job applicants. If your area is still in some form of lockdown, you can achieve this via video interviews. To go the extra mile, allow your final candidates to meet the entire team on video chat so they can envision themselves as part of the team.

Interested in more interviewing and hiring tips? Explore our client resources here.

Want to Get Hired? Make Sure You Demonstrate These 4 Traits

want to get hired

The labor market is hot, there’s no doubt about it. If you’re thinking about exploring your options this Spring, you have plenty to pick from! But just because there are more jobs available than people to fill them, doesn’t mean your interview is going to be a slam dunk. No matter how great the job market is, you still have to bring your A-game to every interview.

And regardless of what industry you work in, there are still certain traits we often see in candidates who get hired. Here are four of the most common traits of those candidates who get hired.

Great communication

One of the best ways to make a great first impression is clear communication. When a recruiter or HR professional reaches out to you, respond promptly. We know that you’re really busy, but so are they. I am not saying you must drop everything and respond to them at once. However, the sooner you respond, the better the impression you create.

We, unfortunately, see so many candidates fail to get hired not because of their skills or experience, but because of a lack of communication. Communication is key throughout the entire hiring process, so be sure to respond timely so you don’t hurt your chances of receiving an offer.

Do your homework

It’s essential that you do your due diligence before an interview. Go online and hop on the employer’s website. Spend a few minutes reading some articles, blogs, press releases, or watch some videos. This will help you create some great talking points in your interview and allow you to ask great questions.

No matter how much experience or skills you have, don’t walk into an interview and try to “wing it.” I promise you it probably won’t go well. If you take some time to learn a little about the company, their culture, and their programs or incentives, you will walk into your interview ready to wow the hiring manager.

Come armed with questions

Like I said before, learning a little more about your prospective employer will help you really impress the interviewers. If you can ask detailed questions throughout your interview, you will be in good shape to receive that job offer. If at the end of the interview you are asked, “So, what questions do you have for us?” and you just sit there with a blank stare, you can kiss that offer letter goodbye.

Come to the interview with a few questions in mind. This will show two things:

  • You did your research on the company
  • It will illustrate you are serious about this potion and company

Be humble

I cannot stress this enough. No matter how great you are, you have to show humility throughout the hiring process. If you don’t, I promise it won’t go well for you. Even if you’re the best at what you do, if you come across as arrogant, you probably won’t be receiving an offer. If the interviewers cannot develop a connection or conversation with you, no matter how great you are, chances are the employer will move on.

If you are serious about the position, make sure you demonstrate these four traits throughout the interview process.