Archives For soft skills

My whole world is falling apart!Recruitment can be stressful, costly and inefficient for employers – and many good candidates are slipping through the net. Here’s how you can improve the situation:

Empathise with applicants

Candidates hate filling job application forms, whether applying for a position directly on your website or via a job board. Of course employers want to glean information but it shouldn’t be an endurance test. Impersonal recruitment processes can be obstructive and many candidates will simply drop out if you force them through too many hoops.

At the initial stage, applicants may not have emotional attachment to your brand, so simplify your application process to keep them engaged. Take a moment to apply for one of the jobs listed on your site – you might be in for a shock. If the form is long and tedious, perhaps you need to change it.

Don’t rely on robots

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) may seem like a no-brainer for quickly eliminating candidates who don’t have the right skills and experience. But beware, many active job seekers know how to beat the system and embellish their CVs with keywords to pass the first sift. While others, often the more sought after talent, don’t spend enough time on their CV to add keywords that can be searched on by an ATS system. There is no substitute for human judgement, particularly when assessing intangible ‘soft skills’.

Beware of one-click job applications

Most job boards enable candidates to apply for multiple ‘suggested jobs’ at the click of a button. This easy process results in many users clicking the ‘Apply’ button without knowing anything about the employer and/or job. It’s not surprising that so many job applicants are unsuitable. And there are many cases when candidates can’t even remember what jobs they applied for!

Don’t keep candidates waiting

Good candidates have limited time for applying and interviewing. They are busy in their jobs and expect the recruitment process to be straightforward and efficient.

If you are going to phone screen or meet candidates in person, make sure you provide sufficient scheduling options, and bear in mind that many candidates request interviews to take place out of office hours. When candidates come to interview, don’t keep them waiting and don’t drag out the interview process. It could leave a lasting negative impression of your organisation.

Hiring the best

Talent shortage is a big challenge for many employers, so it’s worth revisiting your job application process. Making some adjustments to improve the candidate experience will help you to hire the best.

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Hiring managers should clearly articulate to HR what skills, qualifications and experience are required for the job.

But here’s the problem: During my 12 years in recruitment, I have seen hundreds of situations where the job spec states ‘Minimum 5 years experience’ in a particular field, when actually the hiring manager would happily consider candidates with less experience. The criteria set might help eliminate candidates in the recruiting funnel, but how many hidden gems are being overlooked because of this?

Of course technical skills are important (more so in some jobs than others), but many hiring managers would happily hire a candidate with 3 years experience (rather than the 5 specified) if other less tangible boxes are ticked, such as personality/soft skills.

How to screen for Soft Skills

It’s difficult for hiring managers to provide meaningful criteria to HR when it comes to soft skills. Firstly, these skills can’t show on a CV (text such as ‘outgoing personality’ doesn’t always match the reality). And even in a phone screen, HR’s interpretation of a candidate’s soft skills might be quite different to the hiring manager’s.

An effective solution is to screen with recorded video interviews. This way the HR manager and the hiring manager can collaborate, watch the candidate videos and gather insight. This quick process helps ensure the best selection of candidates are invited for face-to-face interviews. Throughout the recruitment process it’s important to keep candidates engaged from Application to Interview.

To find out more about video interviewing and how this easy-to-use screening tool can be used in your recruitment process, give us a call on 020 3130 4935 or visit our enquiries page.