There are several ways that organisations can and should measure the impact of hiring for soft skills. After all, you want to know if it’s working, where it’s working and what the benefits are to the organisation.
Improved speed of hire, candidate selection, quality of hire and retention are all benefits that can be achieved by hiring for soft skills and all of these benefits are measurable.
Indeed, at Softfactors, we already measure some of these benefits and will soon be measuring all of them.
Faster speed of hire
Let’s start with speed of hire. This is as it sounds: we measure how long it takes to get a new hire on board once the recruitment process has started, from start to finish. It’s very easy to measure and the results should be significant. Many of the companies that use our screening tools have reported halving the recruitment time from three months down to six weeks. In one instance, we hired a communications specialist for a company in just four weeks, from posting the job advert to issuing the job offer to the candidate. Being able to speed up the time to hire is particularly important for business critical, strategic and senior roles.
Identify better candidates
Improved candidate selection is another major benefit and what this refers to is the ability to identify strong candidates and screen out unsuitable candidates early on. Our soft skills analytics give hirers a really good, detailed understanding of the aptitudes, personality traits and motivational drivers of candidates. This enables hirers to weed out those who might otherwise have made it through to interview and only select a handful of really strong candidates.
By only inviting promising candidates to interview, hirers enjoy significant time savings. Consider how long it takes to set up and prepare for interviews, conduct the interviews, assess candidates afterwards and then feed back the information. If a hirer is only doing that three times, instead of five or ten or 15 times, that’s a substantial efficiency saving in terms of time and resources.
A better candidate experience
It also makes for a better candidate experience. Interviews require candidates to invest time and energy as well, so better to only select those for interview who stand a good chance of securing the position.
We can also provide hirers with data on where the good candidates are coming from – is it LinkedIn? Facebook? Monster? Organisations can use this information to target their recruitment efforts more effectively.
Improved quality of hire
Proving an improved quality of hire is perhaps the hardest benefit to measure. However, conversations with line managers and anecdotal evidence can be useful here, plus other measurables, such as time to competency, how well a candidate performs in a role and how long they stay.
Increased employee retention
Retention is something that we plan to measure soon. If there’s a good candidate-job-manager-organisation fit, then we would expect candidates to stay longer within a job and to progress up through the organisation.
Screening that leads to better retention rates is certainly something that a lot, if not all, companies would be interested in. As one senior investment banker was quoted in this Financial Times article soft skills tests that can accurately predict the likelihood of a candidate staying and succeeding in a role “would be terrific”.
This last benefit takes a bit longer to measure, because the tracking takes place over a longer period of time. But it can all be done and can show hirers the several clear benefits of testing for soft skills.