Look for these skills in candidates to identify the best candidates and improve your quality of hire
In the wake of COVID-19, hiring practices have shifted. Employers and recruiters are now more focused on skills rather than previous experience. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s research on talent trends in 2019, “91% of employers say soft skills — like communication and people management — matter most when making a hiring decision.” To help you identify the best candidates out there, we'll explore seven key soft skills that are highly sought after by many businesses today.
Communication is a cornerstone of business relationships and employee performance. You need people who can effectively communicate with customers, clients, colleagues, managers, and vendors—and also those who will be able to explain technical details clearly. But communication is not just about speaking to employees and customers —it's also about listening and understanding what others need from you. Effective listening skills can help make better decisions, build stronger relationships with clients, and resolve conflicts more effectively.
The ability to communicate clearly helps to ensure that messages get across effectively—whether someone’s speaking one-on-one with an employee or addressing an entire team at a meeting.
Proactive problem-solving skills are important because they can help you identify problems and find solutions. Whether it be a challenge in the office, with a customer, or even personal issues that your employees bring up, having someone on board who knows how to take initiative will be an asset.
A candidate who has proactive problem-solving skills will likely be good at thinking critically and coming up with innovative ideas– and resourceful when faced with challenges.
In today's world, the ability to adapt is crucial for success. A candidate that can easily adapt to different situations will be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently when needed and find ways to solve problems without being overwhelmed or stressed out.
Critical thinkers weigh up the pros and cons of ideas and situations. It’s important for problem-solving, decision-making, and learning. Critical thinkers can separate fact from opinion by asking themselves questions like:
Collaboration and teamwork are important skills for any role. While some people naturally excel at collaboration, others need to learn how to work well with others. The best candidates will be able to demonstrate this skill through their experience and past performance, and the interviewer should seek answers about how the candidate has collaborated in the past. Here are some things you can ask in an interview:
The ability to work and communicate well with others, and be comfortable around people from diverse backgrounds is an interpersonal skill. These skills are important for any role that requires you to interact with other people.
For example, if you're hiring a salesperson who will be calling on clients in person and meeting them at their offices or homes, interpersonal skills are critical because they'll need to be able to explain how their product or service can meet the needs of their customers while also establishing good rapport and trust with them so they feel comfortable purchasing from your company. Similarly, if you're hiring an assistant manager who needs to manage a team of employees and report directly back to you as the manager (and possibly even interact directly with clients), it's essential that he or she has strong interpersonal skills because this person will have a lot of contact with his colleagues on a daily basis—not just during meetings but also throughout their daily interactions at work.
Task management and organizational skills are important for all positions, but especially those in which a candidate will be responsible for managing their own time. These traits can be assessed by asking candidates to describe how they would handle common scenarios, such as:
When you’re looking for new talent, it can be easy to get bogged down in the details of a resume or a job description, especially if you’re working with a high volume of applicants. The best way to cut through all the clutter and find candidates who are truly qualified is by focusing on their skills. A hiring intelligence platform like HiPeople helps you instantly identify candidates who have what it takes. Once you compare which candidates have the necessary soft and hard skills, it becomes a lot easier to identify the candidates who meet your criteria.