4 ways to determine the soft skills of candidates when recruiting

Creativity, persuasion and collaboration are the top three soft skills in demand by businesses[1].  Those skills that make us human are the ones in demand to enable businesses to future proof in the growing world of automation and artificial intelligence.  And this is only expected to rise as automation becomes more and more prominent.

But how can you assess soft skills during the recruitment process?

1. Understand what motivates candidates

In our initial conversations with clients, we establish the skills required for the role and for organisational fit.  When we speak with candidates, we ask them what good looks like for them, what do they want to achieve from their next role?  This helps us to identify the fit with an organisation on a cultural level and a wider understanding of who the candidate is and what they value.

2. Develop standard questions for the interview to identify soft skills

In our in-depth screening interviews with candidates, we identify standard questions that will assess their soft skills.  This typically uses scenarios and examples to show how they responded in a certain situation – at or outside of work e.g. ‘Tell me about a time..’.  This enables each candidate to be measured in the same way on their skills.  Scenario questions should be scored the same as any other question to enable effective comparison.

3. Don’t let unconscious bias creep in

We always advise our clients to have a panel interview to help remove bias from the interview process further with each one independently scoring the standard questions.

The aim is, as far as possible, to measure soft skills in a consistent way to avoid bias and effectively compare candidates’ skills.

4. Use psychometric tests

Psychometric testing can also be a powerful way of providing a non-biased assessment of a candidate’s soft skills.  We are accredited and certified to use two psychometric instruments which we find provides a high level of insight for our clients namely Hogan Assessments and GC Index.

Hogan Assessments: Hogan’s widely respected suite of assessment tools are designed to assess a candidate’s values and motivations, main personality characteristics, and potential ‘derailers’ – characteristics which emerge only under stress and which are unlikely to be exhibited through interview discussions. We recommend the use of these tools prior to the final interview, to guide discussions with short-listed candidates.

We also use the ‘The GC index®’ as a means of assessing a candidate’s likely impact within a project, role or organisation.  Launched in January 2016, The GC Index® is a scientific framework used to identify Game Changers and game-changing contributions.  It focuses on impact, allowing people to recognise how they can best make an impact and contribute both as an individual and as part of a team. By establishing the part that each person can play, it can help to create effective teams that will complement each other’s skills set and collectively be ‘game-changing’.

Contact us to find out more about how Talent Gateway can help you assess soft skills on 0203 034 0420 or email us at hmarsh@talentgateway.net.

[1] 2019 Global Talent Trends, LinkedIn Talent Solutions