Are you assessing the soft skills of your candidates?

90% of talent professionals in the UK say soft skills are vitally important to the future of recruiting according to a new report from LinkedIn.  But how do you assess soft skills consistently and effectively to ensure you have the right talent to grow your business?[1]

Creativity, persuasion and collaboration are the top three soft skills in demand by businesses.  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. This is only expected to increase as automation becomes more and more prominent.

In our view, soft skills need to be assessed in much the same way as hard skills – if a person doesn’t possess the right skills for the role, they are not going to thrive.  Hard skills are easy to demonstrate – a qualification or experience in a given field but soft skills need to be established through a clear process to ensure they are always considered.  With 57% of businesses struggling to assess soft skills accurately, we thought we would share some advice on how best to establish whether a candidate has the skills you need.

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

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

In our in-depth screening interviews with candidates, we identify standard questions that will assess their soft skills.  We typically use 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.

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.

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 provide a high level of insight for our clients:

Hogan Assessments: Hogan’s widely respected suite of assessment tools are designed to assess a candidates 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 final interview, to guide discussions with short-listed candidates.

We are also one of the first recruitment organisations to adopt 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 skill set and be collectively ‘game-changing’. This tool is of particular value where a vacancy (or vacancies) provides the opportunity to assess and address an imbalance in a team. The GC Index® does not measure personality type or leadership qualities but instead measures the ‘preferred inclination of how individuals contribute to a project, role or organisation’.  The framework uses five roles to express the approach of an individual by demonstrating the extent to which they exhibit each one respectively.

Contact us to find out more about how Talent Gateway can help you assess soft skills on 0203 034 0420.

[1] 2019 Global Talent Trends, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

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