Finding the Right Match: A Simple Guide to Assessing Candidates’ Technical and Soft Skills

In the current market, it’s more important than ever to find a candidate who aligns well with your company’s mission, vision and values and if they are proficient in the necessary skills for the position you need to hire. To stay ahead, it’s essential to evaluate potential hires thoroughly, but also keep the process to the point and deliver a great candidate experience.  

In this blog, we’ll walk you through some easy ways to ensure you’re choosing the right person for the job.

Getting to Know Their Thinking

Let’s start by understanding their analytical thought process. How they solve problems can tell a lot about how they’d fit into your role.

How to do it: Develop real-life scenarios for them to navigate, thereby enabling them to showcase their creativity and critical thinking skills. Consider the manner in which these questions and scenarios are presented to the candidates during the process. While the question-and-answer format tends to work well, exploring other methods could yield better results. For instance, you might orchestrate the scenario as a whiteboard session. Utilising a collaborative approach not only has the potential to reveal more than a Q&A setup but also allows you to observe how they communicate and function within a group.

Tech Skills Check

Certain roles require a good grasp of specific technical skills. Customise your assessment to give you a clear picture of their level of expertise.

How to do it: Utilise platforms that facilitate the efficient testing of technical skills. Be sure to keep it concise to foster a positive experience for the candidates. Crafting technical tests that demand a substantial time investment from candidates could lead to a higher dropout rate in your hiring process. This doesn’t always have to adhere to a question-and-answer format; alternatively, you might consider a pair programming session. As a by-product, this approach will also grant you insight into their logical thought process.

Understanding Their People Skills

While hard skills are important, don’t overlook the soft skills like communication and empathy that contribute to a candidate’s suitability.  While they can be difficult to evaluate within an interview, here are some suggestions on how to approach them. 

How to do it: Seek to assess the candidates’ communication and listening skills, as well as their adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and empathy. Clearly, this list is not exhaustive and may vary significantly based on your specific hiring needs. These assessments can be complemented with psychometric tests to gain a more comprehensive understanding; however, these should be used to augment the interview process, not dominate it.

Reviewing Their Previous Work

A well-compiled portfolio can provide significant insight into a candidate’s experience and skill level. Encourage a casual walk-through of their past projects to allow them to showcase their strengths. Portfolio reviews are particularly relevant for candidates with a creative background.

How to do it: Incorporating portfolio evaluations into your screening process is vital. Failing to do so can result in wasted time interviewing unsuitable candidates, potentially harming your employer brand. 

Making the Most of Tech

Technology can be your best friend in making the assessment process smooth and unbiased.

How to do it: Bring in AI tools to help you gather data for an informed decision. As an example using AI to help your talent team build a framework for technical phone screens, ahead of being invited in for an interview. 

Check out our blog “Exploring Hiring Technology” to know more here.

Putting Them in Real Situations

There is no better way to understand a candidate’s capabilities than by walking them through a real-life scenario. This allows you to observe not only how they manage the task at hand but also how they handle stressful situations.

How to do it: Select a real situation that your team has navigated before and pre-plan a few curveballs to assess their response. While establishing an end goal is important, the focus should be on the journey; scrutinising their thought process, communication with the team, receptiveness to feedback, etc. Incorporating various elements here will help you determine if they are the right fit for your team.

In Conclusion…

Finding the right person for your team doesn’t have to be a complex puzzle. In this blog, we’ve broken down easy-to-follow strategies to help you get a clear picture of a candidate’s hard and soft skills. From encouraging open conversations about their past projects to leveraging technology for smooth assessments, these tips aim to make the hiring process as seamless as possible. Remember, it’s all about getting a feel for how someone thinks, works, and collaborates — the little things that ensure a good fit and a great working environment. As you take these steps forward, you’re not just hiring; you’re investing in the harmony and success of your team.

While this is a broad guide, it demonstrates that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. We work closely with all of our clients on each individual hiring requirement to ensure that their assessment strategy aligns with the open position. A candidate’s CV and work history are only part of what makes them the right fit; in a market that is tight for talent, it is sometimes vital to look beyond the CV.

Our track record speaks volumes; since 2017, we’ve powered the growth of numerous scaling organisations, orchestrating over 3,000 hires across more than 200 companies. 

If you would like to find out more about how we can support your growth, please get in touch using the link below.

Work less, hire better.