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How to evaluate the soft skills of candidates?

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 Currently, personnel recruitment and selection has become a key process for any company that wants to be successful. Employers seek candidates who possess technical skills and soft skills, which are interpersonal skills that enable them to interact effectively with others in the workplace. 

Assessing the soft skills of candidates in recruitment tests can be a challenge for recruiters, as these skills are subjective and can be difficult to measure. However, there are some strategies that recruiters can use to effectively evaluate the soft skills of candidates. 

In this article, we will explore how to evaluate the soft skills of candidates in recruitment tests and why it is important to do so. 

What are soft skills? 

Before exploring how to evaluate the soft skills of candidates in recruitment tests, it is important to understand what soft skills are. Soft skills, also defined as social or interpersonal skills, are those skills that allow people to interact effectively with others in the workplace. 

Being able to identify these qualities during the hiring process will be essential to finding not only the most suitable candidate for the position, but also the one who best fits our company culture and the team they will work with. 

Some of the most common soft skills include effective communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, empathy, and adaptability. These skills are vital in the workplace and can make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful employee. 

Below are some examples of highly valued soft skills by companies, starting with those related to personality traits: 

  • Resilience: The ability to tolerate frustration and adversity is essential in the world of work. This allows workers to recover from failures, provide solutions, and progress.
  • Change management: Adaptability to company culture, flexible and collaborative attitudes are highly valued skills. Employees who accept changes can grow and be open to new possibilities, bringing a fresh perspective.
  • Time management: The ability to organize and be highly productive is a highly valued skill.
  • People management: Friendly personality, empathy, social skills facing customers, aptitude for teamwork, effective interpersonal communication skills, and leadership abilities are very important skills.
  • Conflict management: The ability to listen and negotiate, talent for persuasion, and the ability to argue convincingly are critical skills.
  • Creativity: Managers consider creativity to be the most important soft skill that future workers should possess.
  • Stress management: The ability to work under pressure is essential, as work stress can affect the productivity and well-being of workers. 

Regarding soft skills of an intellectual type: 

  • Critical thinking and systemic thinking: Both skills are highly valued and, along with emotional intelligence, make up one of the most required soft skills.
  • Analytical reasoning: The ability to reflect objectively and considering context is a very important skill. 

An important test to evaluate this aspect is the  intelligence test, available on evalart. 

  • Cognitive flexibility: The ability to think about multiple things at once and adapt thinking and behavior easily is a highly valued skill.
  • Storytelling: The ability to emotionally connect with others through dialogue and communication. 

Why is it important to evaluate the soft skills of candidates in recruitment tests? 

Evaluating the soft skills of candidates in recruitment tests is important for several reasons. First, soft skills are essential for success in the workplace. An employee may have excellent technical skills, but if they lack soft skills, they may struggle to interact with their coworkers and clients. 

Second, soft skills are difficult to teach. Unlike technical skills, which can be taught through training and experience, soft skills are more difficult to teach. It is much easier to teach someone how to use a specific software or how to do a specific task than to teach them how to be empathetic or how to effectively resolve conflicts. 

Lastly, evaluating candidates’ soft skills in recruitment tests can help reduce employee turnover. Hiring someone lacking soft skills can lead to workplace conflicts and ultimately higher employee turnover. 

How to evaluate candidates’ soft skills in recruitment tests? 

The first step in incorporating soft skills into the recruitment process is to identify the necessary skills for each position. This involves developing a specific soft skills profile for each role before publishing the job offer. 

Once these skills have been identified, it is important to include them in the job offer and take measures to evaluate them during the selection process. During interviews, personality tests, psychometric tests, and role-playing exercises should be used to accurately measure these soft skills. 

Moreover, it is essential to create a suitable environment to get to know the candidate and rigorously check their references during the selection process. All of this is key to ensure that we are properly evaluating the candidates’ soft skills and selecting the best candidate for each position. 

Evaluating candidates’ soft skills in recruitment tests can be challenging as these skills are often subjective and difficult to measure. However, there are some strategies that can help evaluate these skills during the selection process: 

  1. Structured interviews: A structured interview can help evaluate candidates’ soft skills more objectively. By asking specific and standardized questions, the responses of different candidates can be easily compared to determine who has the skills that are being sought.
  2. Personality tests: Personality tests can provide valuable information about candidates’ soft skills. These tests can evaluate characteristics such as empathy, extroversion, teamwork ability, and adaptability.
    At Evalart, we have different personality tests suitable for implementation within your selection processes. Among them are: 16 personality factors, complete personality inventory. 
  3. Interpersonal skills assessments: Interpersonal skills assessments can help evaluate candidates’ ability to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and work in teams. These assessments can include role-playing activities, group dynamics, or simulation games. 
  4. Behavior-based assessments: Behavior-based assessments can help evaluate candidates’ ability to face difficult situations, work under pressure, and make critical decisions. These assessments can include simulated scenarios and specific interview questions. 

Overall, evaluating candidates’ soft skills requires a comprehensive approach and multiple strategies. By using a combination of structured interviews, personality tests, interpersonal skills assessments, and behavior-based assessments, a more complete picture of candidates’ soft skills can be obtained.