5 Insights for Assessing Candidate Soft Skills

The perfect candidate needs to have a mix of hard and soft skills. The hard skills are typically job or role-specific and are easily demonstrated through skills tests. Soft skills are harder to demonstrate and assess. These skills aren’t job-specific but valuable for professionals at all levels and industries. These seven insights will help you assess a candidate’s soft skills to help you find the perfect applicant. 

1. Behavioral-Based Questions

Ask a candidate open-ended questions that have them provide real-world examples that demonstrate their personality and skills. Qualified candidates will draw on their past experiences to demonstrate how they will handle challenging situations, leadership opportunities, and approaches to teamwork. 

2. Critical Thinking

The use of critical thinking skills is essential for an applicant because companies need people who can identify problems, strategize a solution, and then put an action plan into motion. Critical thinking skills are the backbone of strategic solutions. Ask candidates about a time they noticed a problem or ineffective process and how they solved it. Look for analytical traits that show the applicant went through a mental assessment. Another option is to give candidates a challenge or problem to solve. They observe how they approach solving the challenge. That way, you can see their critical thinking skills work in real time. 

3. Time Management Ability

Strong time management skills are a must for any position because they ensure the applicant will get tasks done on time and maintain productivity. Ask a candidate how they would prioritize several projects of varying priority and deadlines. Ask about how the candidate handled changing demands to ensure they maintain deadlines. 

4. Adaptability

Today’s businesses are not static. With ever-changing operating conditions and industries, companies need employees who can adapt to changing conditions. A company can find itself falling behind the competition simply because its employees have found a rut and are stuck in it. To avoid this, ask applicants about their ability to adapt to change. This could be small changes like a new policy or a large change like a new role within the company or a new office to work in. 

5. Listening Skills

During the interview, pay attention to how a candidate listens to you. Observe their body language and facial expressions. Those with strong communication skills will show they are actively listening. They may even reference something you said later in the interview. An actively listening candidate will have their body pointed towards the speaker, make good eye contact, not have their arms folded, and not fidget. They will be able to directly answer questions with relevant answers. 

Create a Better Candidate Assessment Process 

When hiring, looking for a candidate with the right qualifications is important. For a successful hire, an applicant should have the hard skills required to do the position’s tasks. They also need soft skills to ensure they can effectively do the job and collaborate with other employees. Adding these six tips to your applicant assessment will help you find the perfect person for your open position. 

Work with BOS Staffing to have our expert recruiters pre-screen applicants for a more qualified recruiting pool of candidates. 

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