Human Resources

Why soft skills are at the forefront of effective recruitment processes

Andrea McDonald - July 17, 2019

Soft skills are at the fore of effective recruitment processes like never before. With change more prevalent than ever and organisations looking to do ‘more with less’ employees are being required to frequently work with more stakeholders to deliver their outcomes. Even technical specialists that used to work quite autonomously are required to work with a whole range of different stakeholders to achieve their outputs.

In fact ‘soft skills’ should be renamed ‘hard skills’ i.e. skills essential for success in new hires and existing employees. These include skills in the areas of communication, relationship building, learning agility, emotional intelligence, problem solving …the list goes on.

The research is compelling in terms of the importance of ‘soft skills’ to success in the current world of work, yet surprisingly their place as part of organisations’ recruitment processes are often still undefined and adhoc in application.

We are seeing organisations that are leading the way in the use of soft skills assessment in hiring process are:

  • Defining what ‘soft skills’ actually are and which are specifically important for success in their business at an organisational, departmental and individual role level.
  • Developing a structured process to assess soft skills (not just technical skills) in the hiring process and giving hiring leaders the tools to effectively assess them.
  • Ensuring that soft skill assessment forms an important part of every selection process and there is a variety of ways they are measured to ensure ‘rigorous assessment’ of soft skills.
  • Regularly gaining feedback from their employees on what soft skills are necessary for success in their business and evolving these as the business needs evolve.
  • Continually redefining and improving on how soft skills are assessed.
  • Global energy company Shell is one business that is very focused on their use of soft skill assessment in their hiring process, find out a bit more about their tips for success in the article HERE.

    Given soft skills are more important than ever before, it’s so important we are ahead of the curve in being effective in assessing them to ensure we make successful hires and our people are thriving in our organisations. Indeed these ‘soft skills’ are the ‘hard skills’ of the future.




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