RECRUITMENT / JUL. 17, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Assessing a Potential Candidate’s Social Skills

It is imperative to consider soft skills such as communication when hiring for sales, marketing and similar positions that require the employee to socially interact with others. It is imperative to consider the key skills required for socially dominant positions as introverts and shy candidates are not able to communicate with others effectively.

Personality versus Skills

Many candidates have suitable experience and qualifications; however they lack the social skills to benefit from these skills to the maximum. This is a typical case of hiring candidates based on personality Vs skills. In the fields such as marketing, sales, PR and advertising, individuals are required to directly engage with clients and each other to achieve optimum productivity.

Therefore it is essential that they posses important soft skills such as communication and public speaking. Regardless of the job role, the majority of positions that need to be fulfilled require individuals to work in a team with others therefore it is important to hire candidates who are able to perform better with others.

Key Points of Interpersonal Candidates

The following are the most important skills that demonstrate an individual who has social skills to communicate with others and work effectively:

·         Self-awareness
·         Sensitivity towards other individuals
·         Social intelligence
·         Self-control

The above mentioned skills are attributes of a candidate who is able to control their actions and emotions around others, without being tactless or insensitive towards their feelings. By understanding other individual’s opinions and being respectful, these candidates are able to function in the workplace without causing unnecessary issues.

Evaluating Potential Candidates

Evaluating a potential candidate’s social skills is important; recruiters are able to gain a comprehensive knowledge of their personality and how successful they are working in a group of individuals. Below is a brief guideline of methods to adopt to evaluate candidates:

  • Integrate social settings, such as group interview, lunches or assessment centers, to observe how individual’s act informally. This provides an indication of their social intelligence. Candidates who are able to easily build a rapport with others show high levels of confidence and social intelligence.
  • To assess sensitivity towards other individuals, recruiters can question candidates about a previous incident that describes their relationship with others in the workplace. This type of question can be targeted towards problem solving skills as well. Observe how the individual responds to the question and how they describe other people in their account.
  • Role playing and hypothetical situations enable recruiters to evaluate the candidate’s self-awareness and self-control. Many employers choose to provide candidates with a situation that would aggravate them to test their reaction and response to something dramatic. However it is imperative to hire professional assessment experts to fully evaluate these social skills as they can provoke candidates if not done properly. 

Mastering the Art of Recruiting: How to Hire the Right Candidate for the Job (Michael Travis)

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