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10 Ways to Assess A Candidate's Soft Skills - Augustine Talent Group

10 Ways to Assess a Candidate’s Soft Skills

When choosing the right candidate, soft skills are just as important as technical skills. A highly proficient candidate in leadership, communications, and strategic thinking will be more likely to fit in with your team and help your organization succeed. And while soft skills are challenging to test for during the hiring process, there are ways to assess them. Read on for ten ways to gauge whether a candidate’s soft skills are on par with your organization.

How to Assess Soft Skills

  1. Leverage employee referrals. When an employee refers someone to your organization, it’s typically someone they think highly of—a personal friend, former coworker, or respected colleague. And if the employee cares about your company, they’d unlikely recommend someone unless they genuinely thought they’d work well within it.
  2. Don’t tell candidates which soft skills they’ll need. Instead, during your initial interview with a candidate, ask them to list the soft skills they would consider most important for the position. If their response doesn’t match your expectations, it’s likely not a good fit.
  3. Ask candidates to rank their soft skills. Another option is to provide a candidate with a list of soft skills and ask them to rank them, with the top being their strongest and the bottom being their weakest.
  4. Ask their references to rank a candidate’s soft skills. Using the same tactic as above, ask references to rank a list of soft skills according to the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Ask references to rate a specific soft skill. If one soft skill is particularly important for a role, ask a reference to rate the candidate’s capacity for that skill on a scale of 1-10. If the reference gives a high number, ask why they didn’t rate them lower. If they give a low number, ask why they didn’t rate them higher.
  6. Use real-life examples as case studies. During interviews, provide candidates with a real scenario from your organization that requires soft skills and ask how they’d handle the situation.
  7. Use behavioral assessments in your hiring process. Several online assessments are available to employers that test candidates’ soft skills and accurately predict their behavior.
  8. Use the pen drop test. During an in-person interview, drop your pen and see if the candidate instinctually moves to pick it up. This is a simple way to see if they have basic soft skills such as attention to surroundings and politeness.
  9. Assign a temporary team project. Have the candidate work on a paid, short-term test project with their potential future team. You’ll be able to gauge the quality of their work and get feedback from your employees on the candidate’s behavior.
  10. Continue assessing soft skills after you hire. During the first few months of a new hire’s tenure, observe their soft skills and ask your team for feedback. If gaps exist, determine whether you can fill them through training or whether the new employee isn’t a good fit.

Executive Recruiters Assess Soft Skills

A final way to assess a candidate’s soft skills is to partner with an executive recruiting agency. The recruiters at Augustine Talent Group can easily determine whether a candidate has the personality and temperament to succeed within your organization. Contact us today to learn more.

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