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Hire Right by Identifying Soft Skills

The country is buzzing about the current unemployment rate. In May 2018, the national unemployment rate hit an almost record-breaking 3.8%. In the past we have discussed retaining and recruiting your employees, but what happens when the talent pool is a fraction of what it used to be?

Soft skills have become essential to hiring the best candidate. But what exactly are soft skills? How can you identify them in an interview? Why is this so important with the current state of the talent pool?

Soft skills defined

Employers are looking beyond previous work experience and are more interested in finding a well-rounded candidate. Soft skills are traits that allow a person to effectively interact with those around them. Some of the most sought after soft skills are effective communication, being able to adapt to change and the desire to be constantly learning. Employers are also looking for critical thinkers and people that are able to lead a team.

Uncovering the right hire

With a few simple tactics during the interview, uncovering soft skills may help you hire the right person for your open position. For example, instead of asking a candidate if they are a team player, try asking them to tell you about a time they had to work as a team on a challenging project. The candidate should be able to explain why the project was challenging and what action they took to overcome obstacles. Their answer should also give you an idea of how well they work in a team environment.

Another approach is giving the candidate an assignment to complete. These range from a work sample to answering questions provided by the hiring manager. This will give insight to the candidate's quality of work as well as their approach to deadlines.

Personality assessments have also become a valuable tool. While they cannot be the sole deciding factor in choosing who to hire, they can help an employer look beyond the person they meet in an interview. Interviews can make even the best candidate nervous. Personality assessments can highlight the value of what the candidate can bring to the table. These assessments can also help an employer craft questions to address points of interest during an interview.

The benefits

Employers have discovered that hiring for ability and potential outweighs hiring for experience. Adopting these recruiting strategies is essential to identifying and hiring talent for your organization.