Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Evaluate a Job Candidate’s Social Skills

Hiring decisions are often made based on a candidate’s technical skills and expertise. It is just as important, however, to evaluate a potential employee’s soft skills. Paying attention to social skills while interviewing prevents hiring an employee that might have superior job skills, but lacks the soft skills required to effectively use them.

Social skills reflect a person’s ability to work in a way that accomplishes short term business goals while strengthening long term relationships. Social skills depend mostly on four primary fundamental characteristics.

Self-awareness: Monitoring how our actions affect the behavior of those around us.
Self-control: Being able to control our actions and emotions, particularly under stress.

Perhaps the two most difficult to assess, one of the best ways to measure self-awareness and self control is to use a role play exercise. If properly planned and conducted, role playing can be one of the most valid ways to measure a candidate’s self awareness and control.

Sensitivity to others: Showing concern toward the needs and feelings of others.

During the interview, ask the candidate to describe conflicts they’ve experienced in the workplace or influences on their career. Answers that are highly judgmental or exclude credit for contributions made by others indicates a low sensitivity to others. References can also be a helpful resource.

Social Intelligence: Understanding methods for influencing others’ behaviors or perceptions. There are several methods for assessing a candidate’s social intelligence. The easiest is the interview. Create social settings such as group discussions or luncheons where you can see the candidate’s social skills in action.

Candidates who possess all the right expertise but lack in soft skills tend to leave quickly due to interpersonal conflict and frustration, or plateau in lower level positions. It’s important to evaluate a potential employee’s social skills to ensure you are hiring the complete package for a long term and valuable candidate.

1 comment:

  1. Analyzing social profile pf interview candidate sounds like a useful concept to know more about candidate. Social profile can give us idea about overall nature and behavior of candidate. It can be useful to decide weather the candidate is best fit for organization or not. Thanks for sharing this concept. It is really much useful for all recruiters.