South African recruitment firm reveals the skills they look for most when screening candidates

Recruitment specialist CareerJunction says the way it hires candidates has undergone many changes over time. One of them is the emphasis on soft skills. Soft skills refer to the experience applicants have gained through years of working in their industry or learned behavior, as opposed to skills acquired through school.

The focus shifted from focusing on a candidate’s degree and years of service to whether they would be a fit for the culture and the kind of attitude they would bring to the company, said CareerJunction.

But selecting soft skills is proving difficult for recruiters, he said. “You can’t tell a candidate’s soft skills from their resume or resume and screening them at the interview is just as difficult.”

One solution is to test skills; a form of testing that does not define whether the candidate has the right qualifications, but rather whether they will be a good fit for the company and bring new and unique skills, such as effective communication and conflict management, recruitment says the specialist.

Candidates with degrees and certifications potentially have more soft skills, as they have participated in group work, critical thinking, abstract thinking, etc. This means that they have developed soft skills without knowing it, but soft skills are also acquired over the years. in the respective industries or sectors and will likely be found among candidates with broad and diverse experience, he said.

How to identify soft skills?

One option is to provide potential candidates with a test that analyzes abstract thinking as opposed to technical skills. There are plenty of software options to help test soft skills and would also be a good investment for testing current employees to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

The CareerJunction online recruitment platform is an exceptionally useful tool that allows recruiters to browse a list of skills – including soft skills if these have been included in the skills list or CV by the candidate, identify and filter the most relevant and appropriate for the vacancy. , and consult the CVs of the candidates who correspond to them.

The software can also analyze this through scenarios and puzzle solutions to determine what kind of soft skills the candidate will bring to the company.

“You can also filter out soft skills in interviews by asking pointed questions that don’t relate to the person’s skills and experience, for example, asking the candidate how they would describe themselves in one word, or by asking about specific scenarios and how they would handle them,” said Wiebka Cooper: Chief Operating Officer for CareerJunction.

Why is this important?

“Testing soft skills, such as responsibility, communication skills, leadership and teamwork, will give you a good idea of ​​whether or not the candidate would fit into the company culture,” Cooper said.

This shift in perspective will help you find the right candidate for the business environment and the values ​​they will need to adhere to. If fixed working hours are important to you – such as in retail or finance – and to your business, a candidate who prefers a more flexible work environment might not be a good fit.

Likewise, soft skills will help you better understand who the candidate is on a deeper level, rather than searching for the right qualifications for the job. Sometimes hiring someone without the necessary qualifications but with the right soft skills will bring more value to your company if the candidate is eager to learn and will fit into the culture.

“It may seem like a weird way to hire new employees, but you’ll see the value and return on investment when you hire the candidate with the right soft skills. That doesn’t mean qualifications should be ignored; some jobs require a specific skill level and should not be overlooked because of a candidate with better soft skills,” Cooper said.

CareerJunction said it’s important to seek candidates who bring both soft skills and relevant qualifications and work experience, as this will make it easier for the employee to integrate into the new environment.

“Remember that you shouldn’t overlook qualifications and years of experience when looking for the ideal soft skills, but rather take an integrated approach. Soft skills are a learned behavior, so your company could be the right fit for the qualified candidate who has the potential to develop these skills.

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