Is Hiring for Softer Skills the Future of Recruitment?

Is Hiring for Softer Skills the Future of Recruitment?

Recruitment has traditionally been focused on assessing qualifications and technical experience (credentials that are easily found on a Resume).  However, in today’s constantly evolving workplace, there is a growing recognition of the importance of the qualities of communication, adaptability, and emotional intelligence.  These qualities are increasingly considered vital for success in modern work environments. So Is hiring for softer skills the future of recruitment? 

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Raffaella Sadun and her collaborators analysed close to 5000 job descriptions developed for C-Suite roles.  Their conclusions showed that companies have shifted from focusing on financial and operations skills towards social skills, the ability to listen, reflect, communicate and empathise.  There’s a range of reasons for this: Hiring candidates with strong ‘soft’ skills generally means that they are more adaptable and resilient when faced with challenges.  While technical skills can be taught, personal qualities are more difficult to develop, particularly in a world of increased automation, AI and hybrid working.

There are a number of strategies that can be employed during the hiring process that can identify soft skills.  The first step is to understand which skills are the key to success in the role.  This can be done by speaking with the Hiring Manager and other successful employees who have worked in the role.  The job description and interview process needs to effectively articulate and communicate which outcomes and contributions for success in the role.

From there, we recommend ‘Talent Pooling’ candidates who match the hard skills required to complete the role.  Soft skills of these candidates can be determined through a range of psychometric testing, role playing and asking these questions during the interview process.

With the global talent shortage it’s time to re-think the ongoing focus on degree-qualified candidates in favour of employees who have the soft skills to succeed in the role, alongside training to support the up-skilling to get them up to speed.  

By focusing on soft skills during the hiring process, organisations can build resilient and productive teams that are better equipped to navigate challenges, foster innovation, and deliver exceptional results. As recruitment practices evolve, incorporating soft skills assessment can lead to a more holistic evaluation of candidates and contribute to the overall success of organizations in the future.

Keen to learn more about how recruiting for softer skills can help secure top candidates?  Speak to the Recruitment team at Flexi Personnel.