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Soft-Skills In The Selection: How To Find The RIGHT Employee

Soft-Skills In The Selection: How To Find The RIGHT Employee

There are no good or bad candidates; there are those who are or are not suitable for a particular position.


So says Nedchanok, a Recruitment consultant at FP Recruitment & Executive Search. We talked with many of our clients and found out why the future lies in strong soft skills how to select a candidate who is exactly approved by the customer.



Soft skills vs. hard skills


Closing vacancies, the recruiter primarily operates with the concept of competencies - professional and personal characteristics of candidates:


  • professional qualities are hard skills;

  • personal or cross-functional qualities are soft skills.


For example, hard-skills for the secretary are typing speed, ability to keep meeting minutes and other professional qualities. Softskills - communication skills, presentation skills, creativity.


If previously professional qualities of applicants were highly valued, today they are increasingly paying attention to the inter-functional qualities of the individual. For example:


Goal setting


  • strategic and operational planning

  • ability to use time management tools

  • ability to translate goals into tasks


Making decisions


  • ability to analyze a problem

  • reformulation of business problems into tasks

  • risk assessment and weighting

  • generating ideas

  • ability to make decisions


Communicative competence


  • knowledge of communicative styles and strategies, choice of personal style

  • constructive criticism

  • effective feedback


Presentation competency


  • ability to prepare a presentation

  • knowledge and application of the basics of public speaking

  • ability to work with audience questions




  • analysis of personal growth areas and their development

  • knowledge and use of the principles of leadership communication


Work on the result


  • result-oriented approach

  • the ability to use motivation as a tool




  • creative decision-making technique.


Digital Competency


  • work with large volumes of information

  • knowledge of search and data collection methods

  • knowledge of decision-making methods in conditions of insufficient data


One cannot be surprised by professionalism today. Of the two professionally equal candidates, one who has more advanced soft skills will be selected. And the question arises: if a person is good as a specialist, but shows himself poorly in the team, becomes a cause of disagreement and provokes conflicts, will he bring benefits to the company?



Why it happens


When and why did soft skills become so important? Changes occurred little by little - and happen further. The main reason is a paradigm shift in society. The environment has changed, the business is being built differently, and the qualities required are completely different.


Moreover, the process here is two-way: the environment affects the approach, and the new approach changes the environment. For example, due to a change in relations in an adult society, the school system is changing. If earlier the basic qualities of a schoolboy were diligence and perseverance, today creativity and awareness are appreciated. Children do not just memorize pieces of material, they learn to ask important questions to themselves and others.


Instead of the usual paraphrase, the era of design work, self-presentation and the ability to interact with others came. The perception of information as such is changing: no need to memorize, you need to be able to search.


The ability to search and find new things, to look at things from a different angle is the basic competence of the future. A good example is Steve Jobs. A person who suffered from dyslexia and did not have a higher education could become one of the founders of the world-famous company Apple. Steve was able to search.



How to work with soft skills


Softskills - this is a kind of challenge for a recruiter. Now it's not enough just to find a professional, you need to find a professional who shares the values of the company and fits into the corporate culture.


Today, a recruiter may be faced with a situation where the customer does not approve of a brilliant candidate at first glance. Let's figure out what to do in such cases.



Create a list of key competencies


Here we need a strategic session, in other words, a meeting. On it, the recruiter, together with company representatives, identifies the core competencies important for the position - soft skills. There is no universal formula: for different positions, there will be their top 5 soft skills.


Tip: competencies should be distinguished in terms of what is important for the company and its development.



Prescribe a portrait of an ideal job seeker


After such a session, it is worth making a portrait of your job seeker: register his professional and personal qualities in detail, highlight the main thing and what you can sacrifice. When there is a portrait, it becomes clear - where to look. For example, if you need an enthusiast with burning eyes, but you have a startup and limited financial capabilities, it is better to contact students or young specialists.


Tip: create a portrait in the form of a list of qualities in descending order of their importance.



Give candidates cases


When the initial selection has passed, you need to choose the best. How to do it? Cases are the best tool for testing soft skills. Ask the candidate to share their experience. For example, let him talk about the most significant professional situation in his life. Or the most stressful one. Pay attention to what words he uses, how he characterizes himself and his colleagues, and what he emphasizes.


Tip: work through the questions in advance, you can compose your questionnaire by choosing from its suitable cases for each vacancy separately.



How to give feedback


Not everyone is ready for feedback. I always ask candidates to call back if I do not contact them myself for some time. And only a third calls back. With this third, I am extremely sincere: I explain in what moments the candidate did not coincide with the expectations of the employer, what are his strengths (necessarily!) And weaknesses. 


Tip: candidates are sought for the company and a specific leader, and not just for a position. Remember this when searching and do not forget to use feedback as an argument.





Even though many professions go online, there is no escape from soft skills. It seems very easy to pick up ten remote employees, each will do his job and they will not overlap. But this is a utopia. Man is a social being, and in any work, you cannot do without interaction. Communication also goes online, changes its form, but does not disappear. Also, qualities such as, creativity or punctuality, are necessary even in a remote mode.


Soft skills are important and necessary everywhere. This is confirmed by the market players themselves. So it's time for everyone to work with their soft skills, including recruiters!