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6 Steps to Hire Someone with Soft Skills

Wiley
Wiley

Soft skills are all too often overlooked during the hiring process, but they're no less important than the technical skills needed to do a job well. Bruce Tulgan shares some actionable tips for building soft skills criteria into your hiring process, starting with the job description. With some strategic preparation, you can be sure your next hire has all the right soft skills to excel with your organization.

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STRONG SOFT SKILLS
6STEPS to HIRE
SOMEONE with
Soft skills encompass a wide range
of non-technical skills ranging from
“self-awareness” to “people skills”
to “problem solving” to “teamwork.”
They may be less tangible and
harder to define than the technical
skills required for a job, but they
are no less important.
Employers often have so few
candidates with the requisite hard
skills they cannot rule people out
because of seeming gaps in their soft
skills. But there are steps employers
can take to build soft skills criteria
into the hiring process.
For every position, build a
profile and job description that
includes the key hard skills for
that role AND the key soft skills.
STEP 1
Build those criteria into the
basic job requirements from
the outset. If you’re forced to hire
people without the required soft
skills, have a plan in place to
address those gaps.
Look for talent from sources
well known for the strong soft
skills you need.
STEP 2

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6 Steps to Hire Someone with Soft Skills

  • 1. STRONG SOFT SKILLS 6STEPS to HIRE SOMEONE with
  • 2. Soft skills encompass a wide range of non-technical skills ranging from “self-awareness” to “people skills” to “problem solving” to “teamwork.” They may be less tangible and harder to define than the technical skills required for a job, but they are no less important.
  • 3. Employers often have so few candidates with the requisite hard skills they cannot rule people out because of seeming gaps in their soft skills. But there are steps employers can take to build soft skills criteria into the hiring process.
  • 4. For every position, build a profile and job description that includes the key hard skills for that role AND the key soft skills. STEP 1
  • 5. Build those criteria into the basic job requirements from the outset. If you’re forced to hire people without the required soft skills, have a plan in place to address those gaps.
  • 6. Look for talent from sources well known for the strong soft skills you need. STEP 2
  • 7. If you are hiring out of schools and training programs, find out which include soft skills in their standard curriculum. If you are poaching talent from other employers, poach from employers known for their strong soft skills training.
  • 8. Include high priority soft skills behaviors in your employer branding and recruitment campaign messaging. STEP 3
  • 9. Name your high priority soft skills and have meaningful slogans to capture them. The goal of any recruitment campaign is to deliver a compelling message to draw a large applicant pool so you can be selective.
  • 10. Start with a bias against hiring. Look for red flags. STEP 4
  • 11. If someone comes late for the interview, isn’t attentive during the interview, or has typos in his résumé—and timeliness, ability to focus, or attention to detail are important soft skills for this job—then those are red flags.
  • 12. Build a selection process that places a heavy emphasis on high priority soft skills. STEP 5
  • 13. Take the short-cut: Scare away young job candidates who only think they are serious by shining a bright light on all the downsides of the job. Those still interested are the right candidates.
  • 14. If there is any lag time between the time an offer is accepted and day one of the actual job, take advantage of that time. STEP 6
  • 15. Use the delay to keep sending a message about high priority soft skills. Send books or videos or other targeted learning materials.
  • 16. Be better prepared to spot red flags and hire employees with the skills you need. Learn more about hiring, training, and managing an effective staff. http://bit.ly/TulganSoftSkills Wiley is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.