ASSESSING SOFT SKILLS: A GUIDE FOR HIRING MANAGERS

When it comes to hiring new employees, employers often focus on technical abilities and hard skills. They want someone who can do the job and meet the specific requirements of the position. However, this narrow focus often means that soft skills are overlooked or undervalued. Soft skills, also known as interpersonal skills or people skills, are personal qualities and competencies that enable individuals to interact effectively with others in a professional context.

Soft skills can include a range of abilities such as communication, problem-solving, adaptability, creativity, and work ethic. These skills are not necessarily quantifiable, but they are critical to succeeding in a broad range of industries and careers. Whether you’re collaborating with colleagues from different cultures or communicating with customers and clients globally, the ability to navigate intricate interpersonal relationships and build strong connections is fundamental to achieving success.

Employers often overlook the importance of soft skills because they are challenging to measure or assess. It’s easier to evaluate technical abilities and hard skills through education and experience, but soft skills require a different approach. 

Organizations can get the help of expert recruiters like Capsicumlabs to effectively manage such problems faced in hiring processes.

Capsicumlabs facilitates our client organizations by ensuring that new hires have both hard and soft skills by effectively assessing the soft skills during the hiring process.

Assessing Soft Skills during the Hiring Process

There are several ways to assess soft skills during the hiring process. One of the most effective methods is through behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions focus on past experiences, providing valuable insight into the candidate’s ability to work under pressure, communicate effectively, and display a strong work ethic. Requesting real-life examples from the candidate is an effective way to evaluate these skills during the interview.

Some examples of behavioral interview questions include:

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to work closely with a difficult colleague or manager? How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?
  • Describe a project or task where you had to adapt to a new way of working or change in direction. How did you handle the change, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Give an example of a time when you had to communicate a difficult message to a colleague, manager, or client. How did you approach the situation, and what was the result?

Another effective method that our recruitment team at Capsicumlabs follow  is to ask candidates which soft skills they consider important for the job or to rank their skills from strongest to weakest. This can reveal their understanding and honesty about their abilities. Presenting on-the-job problems that require soft skills can also assess how well they would fit in the team and handle difficult situations.

Our hiring staff at Capsicumlabs also make sure in Observing physical and social cues, such as body language and how they treat others, which can provide additional insight into their soft skills. Discussing their soft skills with references can also give valuable information about their leadership, responsibilities, and relationships with the staff.

We also make sure to avoid unconscious bias in assessing the soft skills in candidates in order to include new hires to facilitate diversity and inclusivity. 

In conclusion, soft skills are critical to succeeding in the workplace, yet they are often undervalued or overlooked during the hiring process. Assessing soft skills can be challenging, but with the right methods and practices, Capsicumlabs facilitate our clients to hire candidates with both technical abilities and the interpersonal skills needed to succeed in today’s fast-paced and dynamic business environment.

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