The MOST overlooked factor in a candidate today - soft skills

Posted by Mark Bohdanyk on September 20, 2021

LinkedIn recently released a study that shows that 89% of bad hires all lack soft skills.  And that means if you aren't screening IN clients based on soft skills, you could be missing out on the right person for your job - even if they don't match all the bullet points.

1. What are soft skills?   
The ability to effectively communicate, collaborate, work as a team, time management, persuasion and networking are all soft skills.  And they are some of the core tenets of how people succeed in positions.

If you can't communicate effectively with team members, or have the ability to persuade others about why one option may be better than another, you cannot succeed.  If you can't build a network of people, whether on social media or in an office setting, you will struggle at sales or finding support or solutions to issues.

2. How to Screen In/Out for soft skills
With the right Hiring Automation Platform, this is an easy ask.  Simply include a question or two in your automated screening that asks something along the lines of:

If you Hiring Automation Platform supports multiple choice questions during the initial screening, a good example question would be  (the percentages on the left are internal scoring only, not shown to the candidates as the question is posed to them):

My friends and colleagues would describe my communication skills as:

0%  Friendly and affable - If I have a point, I will use my charm to get you to understand and persuade you.

75% Friendly and affable - If I have a point, I will use my people skills to get you to understand and persuade you.

0%  Reserved and low key - I don't want to make a fuss.  If you don't agree with me, that's fine.

100%  Data driven and focused - When I feel strongly about a point, I will use the data to persuade you to my side, and not give up until I have

50%  Competitive - I don't want to be wrong, I will use whatever methods necessary to get you to understand my point and persuade you to my side.

"What was a project you worked on where you had to convince others that an unpopular option was the right one?"

This is a great open ended question for a second round of screening that speaks to persuasion, communication style and decision making.

These are actual questions from a successfully hired job in the HireMojo library that I looked up as an example.  Hopefully your Hiring Automation Platform has a similar library to set you up for success.

3. Evaluating Networking
Social credibility is a thing in sales and marketing.  And while it may not be relevant for every position, a multiple choice question might be a good way to learn more about a candidate's soft skills towards relationship building and personal brand marketing capabilities.

My largest social media network has:

10%  0-20 followers

30% 21-100 followers

60% 101-400 followers

80% 401-1000 followers

100% More than 1000 followers

Depending on your company's policies, you never need to follow up any more than that; but the point is you have some visibility into whether this person's communication skills both online and off lead to them being someone who can work well with others.


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best practices

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