How To Hire For Soft Skills
It’s easy to list the required experience and certifications in a job description. However, it is much more challenging to define and evaluate the soft skills that would make someone successful in that position. Indeed outlines 11 soft skills other employers were looking for in 2021. Let’s focus on the top 3:
Communication, leadership, and teamwork
These three soft skills are integral to a healthy work environment, no matter the size of your company. Communication benefits both the client and coworkers, even if your employee will not have an outward-facing role. Team members with strong communication skills will streamline business and make your company more put-together and intelligent overall.
Though it would be ineffective to have a business full of people trying to take charge, it is important to empower your employees. Every person on your team should possess the confidence and creative thinking skills necessary to lead if needed. A team of leaders lifts each other up throughout the week. Make sure they are capable!
Teamwork is extremely important, even if a company is a one-person show, because you always work with clients. Employees need to have the humility and communication skills to work with others, whether their peers, clients or managers. These soft skills are crucial to running an efficient business.
How to test for them
ASK OPEN-ENDED BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS! Instead of using the age-old “tell me a story about the time you. . .” prompt, give them a specific scenario that actually happened at your workplace where someone could demonstrate these soft skills and ask them how they would respond. Try to remain as neutral as possible so as not to lead them one way or another. If the candidate has some work experience on their resume that seems to signal the strength of one of these soft skills, ask them to elaborate. How did the experience play out, and did they like it? This can be very telling as to whether the candidate gained the soft skills necessary from that experience.
Though it can be hard to assess a candidate’s soft skills, you can usually get a general feel for what kind of person they are in an interview. Determine what’s most important, then ask in-depth behavioral questions to discover which candidates will be a good fit.