Hard skills, as evidenced by academic and vocational qualifications, and certifications for specific practices or technologies, are of course central to the search and selection processes of recruitment agencies.
Sifting through applicants to identify those that are qualified is now a task left to ATS or other similar recruitment Line-of-Business systems that are able to automatically search for keywords and phrases.
However, once a shortlist is boiled down to one where candidates have broadly equitable skills and experience, the focus for identifying the best permanent hires, contractors or freelancers has to shift elsewhere, and that means looking in detail at soft skills.
For many roles, technology, specifically automation and machine learning based software systems (the same type of tech that sifts through CVs to look for hard skills), eliminates much of the mundane and excels at doing the things which humans are not suited to, such as completing repetitive tasks without error.
This frees up people, enabling freelance and contract workers, as well as permanent hires, to leverage their uniquely human capabilities to perform to the best of their ability and add more value. This is expressed through the practice of these key soft skills capabilities and attributes:
Most recruiters recognise that in the case of many bad hires, a lack of good soft skills is the underlying issue. And it’s easy to get it wrong. As soft skills are impossible to assess accurately from a CV, resume or application form, interviewing is key and can be a good indicator of soft skills.
However, it may be easy to misread a candidate that is fully prepared and who interviews well. References are also very useful, especially if referees are followed up properly. Social proof such as LinkedIn recommendations might also tell you something, however, they should not be taken at face value.
Hiring with a probation period and seeing how it goes is suited to permanent hires. Perhaps ultimately, for the freelance and contractor market, where there is often a need to hit the ground running, the best way to gauge soft and social skills before hiring is to put candidates into group role play scenarios to see how they perform and interact with one another.
To fully assess soft skills, it’s advisable to not rely on any one single channel and use as many inputs as possible, enabling you to avoid making selection errors.
The benefits of recruitment technology, or RecTech, are not confined to search and selection.
ETZ is a technology of choice for any recruitment business that wants to release efficiency from its administrative functions. Streamlining admin through software automation frees up agency back office staff to do more important tasks, adding more value.
Our market leading timesheet, invoicing and payment solution lets recruitment agencies transform efficiency of back office processing, for all agency workers and contractors. To find out more about how we simplify the complexity of RecTech for agencies like yours, call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo.
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