Assessing Soft Skills
As we discussed last week, soft skills are crucial when finding the best candidate for your insurance business. Ninety-two percent of talent professionals believe soft skills are just as important if not more than the technical skills needed for the job. At The James Allen Companies, we believe both are essential, but soft skills can mean the difference between a good hire and a bad one. In fact, one study found 89 percent of bad hires lack the necessary soft skills needed to succeed in their place of work.
Considering how essential soft skills are to choosing the right candidate, it might surprise you that only 41 percent of businesses have a formal process to evaluate those skills. It’s time to start a soft skills evaluation process that can result in more successful hires.
Determine what skills are needed: Decide and list the skills needed for the position you’re hiring for and the company culture. Do you have a collaborative culture or do people work on their own? Does this position require persuasion to sell a product? Identifying what skills are needed for the job will help you come up with the process of evaluation.
Engage with your candidate. Interviewing a candidate is a great way to get to know a person on a professional level, but if a candidate is going to be working with you, you need to know them personally too. Don’t just interview with them, interact with them. Set up a meeting in an informal setting. This is a much better way to pick up on those key social skills you need at your company.
Standardize your interviews. The questions you ask one candidate should be the same ones you ask every other candidate. When selecting questions to ask candidates, choose behavioral questions that ask the candidate to draw on their past experiences and situational questions to gauge how they might react in situations they may encounter on the job.
Challenge them. This is similar to situational questions except you’re actually watching them in action. Give them a task such as planning a campaign or selling a product. Watch them perform the task and let them walk you through their process. This is a great opportunity for you to observe their soft skills in action.
Consider tech-based analysis methods. There are a lot of online services that can help you systematically evaluate a candidate’s soft-skills. These are great for eliminating bias in the process but can add time to the candidate’s application process which can be a turnoff to some candidates.
Evaluating soft skills is a difficult task, but is incredibly important for the hiring process. If a candidate lacks the skills your business needs, they can have a negative impact on your business. Recruiters at The James Allen Companies identify candidates that have the necessary communication, persuasion and other soft skills your company needs. We find candidates that are already successful and can transfer their skills to your business for continued success. Give us a call today to see how we can help your company identify the candidates with the skills you need to help your business prosper.