Hiring on Soft Skills: Finding The Best Talent in 2024

According to a Hays survey, 92% of employers faced skills shortages in 2023.  many employers to hire on soft skills and invest more heavily into training and development. 

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Forcing

The adage ‘hire on experience, fire on behaviour’ may be completely refuted if you hire on soft skills.

This could also increase your retention rate. Win, win.

Yes, technical ability and expertise are important; but they can be taught and learned. Soft skills cannot. 

Most businesses are familiar with traditional soft skills, like time management and communication skills.

But as technology and AI advance, and remote work remains popular, there’s a growing need to develop a less-recognised set of soft skills.

Which Soft Skills Should You Look Out For?

ManpowerGroup’s 2022 Global Talent Shortage report, found the top five soft skills to be:

  • Reliability and self-discipline
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Reasoning and problem-solving
  • Creativity and originality
  • Critical thinking and analysis

All of the above are highly sought-after skill sets to have within your business, particularly if you’re scaling.

But how do you find talent with these skills?

How Do I Attract Candidates With The Right Soft Skills?

Attracting candidates with the soft skills that will enable and support your growth isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does take time. 

Think of brands like Apple and Innocent Drinks – candidates flock to them in their masses because they want a bite of the cherry; they want to be a part of the business. Therefore, these brands have their pick of the best candidates on the market.

But this didn’t happen by accident. 

They have a concrete strategy, they have invested time, energy and money into crafting an employer brand that does all of the work for them when it comes to talent attraction.

Understandably, not all businesses have the time, budget or gravitas as the brands mentioned above, but there are things you can do to create a killer employer brand that will attract great candidates to your business.

How Can I Improve My Employer Brand?

Start with the basics. Figure out who you’re trying to attract.

  1. Define your target audience. Who would fit into your business and its culture? Who will help to drive you forward and enable your growth?
  2. Market to them. Create content and messaging and engage with prospective employees on platforms that they use. If you’re looking for Gen Z, creatives, TikTok may be the safest bet however, if you’re looking for senior leaders, LinkedIn might be a better platform. 
  3. Involve your existing employees. If you’re trying to attract more of the types of people you already employ, let them help you with your strategy. Ask them why they enjoy working for your company and what benefits they value the most.

If you’d like a more in-depth conversation about your employer brand, give us a call on 0113 873 0092. We work as internal recruiters on behalf of our clients and advise their internal teams on how to develop, improve and maintain a positive employer brand.

The Hiring Process and Soft Skills

Screening CVs and applications for soft skills is slightly trickier than looking for hard skills because it’s not as clear-cut. Plus, you don’t want to waste any time conducting unnecessary interviews. 

Asking applicants to complete a small task is often a great way to assess soft skills. Whether that be directly related to the role, something like a short video of themselves explaining why they think they’d be a good fit or even leaving it open-ended for the candidate and simply asking – explain why you have applied and be as creative as you like. 

Applicants with the best soft skills will be happy to do this for you, it allows you to qualify applicants before you conduct any telephone interviews.

The Interview Process and Soft Skills

Once someone is in front of you, it’s slightly easier to gauge their soft skills, you can read their body language and see how they communicate.  Here are some questions to ask to establish soft skills:

  1. How would you approach explaining a new concept or idea to your team?
  2. Have you ever been in a situation where you have worked really hard on an idea or a project that received negative feedback? How did you respond to that situation?
  3. What are your most important considerations when working for an employer?

There are many open questions you can ask, and the point is not to trip someone up, it’s to see how they handle objections, teamwork, goal-driven tasks and so on. 

Knowing the types of soft skills you value, will make the questions much easier to create and ask. 

How myinternalrecruiter.com Could Help You

myinternalrecruiter.com partners with businesses that are growing. Our solution is ideal for businesses that have 4 or more hiring needs in 12 months. 

We work with our clients in the same way as an internal recruitment team does, and we often support exiting internal recruiters and HR teams with their niche and hard-to-fill roles. 

If you’re volume hiring and you need some help, give us a call on 0113 873 0092 or head over to www.myinternalrecruiter.com. Our prices start from just £750pm, making us more cost-effective than hiring additional internal recruiters!