When organizations are deciding what soft skills to assess for hiring purposes, there’s a very obvious and very necessary place to start. It’s this: what soft skills does the role require? What soft skills will the candidate need to fulfil the role successfully now and in the future?
Define what hard and soft skills are required
It is often the most basic questions that yield the best answers. However, those basic questions are sometimes overlooked, perhaps because of time constraints or because recruiters and line managers simply don’t set the job spec and screening tests up properly.
However, it is essential that sufficient care and time is spent doing the preparatory work – knowing exactly what a role entails in terms of both hard and soft skills.
Identify what soft skills you are looking for in a candidate
This means recruiters and line managers talking through what skills are needed now and in the future, what’s critical and what’s nice to have. Will the candidate need to be a good negotiator? An influencer? Good at conflict resolution? Will they need to be a self starter who will forge their own way ahead or is it better to have someone who will fit in well with a boss who is a micro manager?
Ask these questions, understand what is required and then the testing can be devised with the right questions in order to generate the right answers. Defining and communicating the job profile is absolutely key to the success of any testing.
Measure the soft skills that matter
That’s part of our methodology at Softfactors when assessing candidates. And when there is a clearly defined job profile, then that wish-list of soft skills can be matched to our 25 competencies in order to set up the testing. Our competencies are broken down into five categories: Dealing with People, Interpersonal Skills, Dealing with Business, Thinking Skills and Personal Qualities.
Within each category, the core competencies are listed and then explained. For example, the Dealing with People category includes the competency Leading People, which talks about a person’s ability to ‘set direction, establish focus, decide on action, assign responsibility, delegate appropriately, mobilize commitment, provide motivational support, empower others, and develop others and manage performance’.
Assess for job fit and personality fit
If an organisation needs a candidate that fits the Leading People criteria, then questions can be asked during the testing process that will determine which candidates fit the bill and which don’t. What organisations want and need is a good job fit and a good personality fit.
Analytics provide invaluable insights
Advances in data analytics mean that from quite simple questions, you can get really good insights into individual human behavior – how a person interacts with others, how they manage their workload and careers, what motivates them and so on.
And it makes it fun too. Data analytics may sound dry, but we have a varied toolbox on offer to ensure our tests are fun, quick to answer and very user friendly. It’s a mix of self description, exercises, visual text and video – whatever is required and will generate the best outcome. Clients receive detailed feedback on candidate responses and so do candidates.