Hiring With Soft Skills In Mind
While HR professionals have kept up with the trends of the changing industry for years, whether that be through integrating new software programs or creating all new business practices, one thing often gets overlooked: soft skills. Are you ramping up your technology, yet forgetting to bring it back to basics - the “human” aspect of the job? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Here’s why hiring for soft skills in addition to everything else is important, and how to start doing so:
Hiring isn’t resume based. Ramp up your application.
We all hope that the applicant with the star accolades and most skills ends up being our new employee. But unfortunately, we know it doesn’t work that way, or else we wouldn’t conduct interviews. Not only do resumes lack the ability to convey soft/social skills, but they also can’t be proven until you meet the employee. Instead, most companies know to include more than a resume in their job application. At the get-go, include ways you can assess soft skills by creating a more in-depth application process.
Ask for a cover letter, and give them specific points to address. For example, ask an IT Assistant applicant to include their aspirations, and why they specifically want to work for you. Also, add other sections to your online application where they can attach portfolios, references, and answer fun questions.
Decide what specific “soft skills” and “job skills” you want
Before reviewing applications and conducting interviews, make sure your hiring team knows exactly what they’re looking for. Did your last office manager have great writing skills but harsh customer service skills? Make sure you emphasize that the person be communicative overall. Also, look for key things that every employee should have - good emotional intelligence, integrity, communication, motivation, confidence.
Ask specific questions in your interviews
It’s difficult to keep track of each and every candidate, but with the right system and team, you’ll get your hiring tactics down to a tee. What will make it easier, is to add more specific and situational questions. For example ask the candidate what they’d do in a situation where they both have to meet a deadline on paperwork but also have to attend to a client. How do they tackle both tasks? Also, you should follow up on specific items that stood out in their job application. Did they mention they organized an event, yet they’re not applying for an event planning job? Ask them about it, get a sense of their additional soft or job skills. Sometimes you need to probe in order to really get to know your candidate.