Hire and develop ‘soft-skills’ to get the right fit
The importance of finding the ‘Right fit’ emphasizes the value soft skills bring to the workforce.
Technical skills are important – people need to be able to, or be trained to, be technically able. But even as we face an increased skills shortage, employers increasingly recognise the value of soft-skills. These attributes are easily transferable from role to role and are key to differentiating a good candidate from a great one. We’ve identified the most in-demand qualities to look for when shortlisting candidates, how to identify if the candidate possesses these and why soft skills are beneficial to your workforce. We also look at resources for improving the soft-skills of your current workforce.
Resilient employees are vital to a highly functioning workforce, and it’s an attribute to look out for especially when hiring senior staff. Resilient people are cool, calm and collected, and it has a flow-on effect on the whole team. It means in times of challenge, or when problems arise, they are rational and adaptable to the situation at hand. Resilience can also be deliberately developed as a trait. Much of the recent interest in the philosophy of Stoicism has focused on mental resilience. There are many resources online with tried and tested exercises that can help build it.
Employees with a higher emotional intelligence generally have the ability to work better with other people. These attributes include empathy, being open-minded, being able to manage different personalities and having advanced social skills. The consortium for research on Emotional Intelligence in organisations has published research on how ‘EI’ can impact your bottom line. The Business case for Emotional Intelligence.
While this may seem like an obvious one, it is too important not to mention. Communication skills are key to any role. Writing and speaking concisely and clearly is valuable. The most important communication skill is “active listening”. For roles with direct personal contact ‘non-verbal communication’ is important. (What we used to call ‘Body-Language). It is also the means through which people build rapport, and show confidence, assertiveness – and work efficiently together!
How do you identify if talent possess these skills?
Employers should always opt for in-person interviews in order to assess transferable soft skills. While resilience and emotional intelligence can be more difficult to judge first-hand during an interview, asking for examples of times when the candidate has demonstrated these abilities in a past work scenario should be one of your standard questions. Communication abilities on the other hand, can easily be assessed during an interview and can also help determine if a candidate is the right culture fit for the company.
Why it is beneficial to your workforce
By building soft-skills into the recruitment process you increase your talent pool from if only technical skills are considered. This opens doors and creates opportunities. Teams become stronger and more productive when varied skill-sets are incorporated.
As soft skills can be more difficult to identify by reviewing CVs HR professionals should consider if their advertised job role descriptions need a refresh. Adequately include soft skills to capture this talent. Beyond hiring, employers should also be considering how they can bolster the soft skills their current employees have and implement training and development opportunities in this area as part of their retention schemes.
Wondering how to find a “Good Fit” for your next hire?
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