When looking to hire a c level executive for your company, don’t forget to pay attention to the soft skills that they have or may be lacking. While soft skills may be an important trait for any employee, they are especially important for c level employees who occupy leadership roles whose actions have a big impact on the company as a whole.

Soft skills are more difficult to measure than hard skills, which can be easily tracked through proven accomplishments. If you’re having trouble assessing the soft skills of your candidates, then why not work with executive recruiters to help you with your new employee search?

The importance of soft skills is becoming more and more recognized. According a recent survey by Cenage, there is a high demand among employers to find new hires that have exceptional soft skills.

What Counts as a Soft Skill?

The first step to finding a person with the right skills is to be able to identify as a company which soft skills you are looking for. Here are some of the most important soft skills that companies look for when hiring:

  • Communication and comprehension
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Imagination, ingenuity, and creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Adaptability
  • Positive and friendly
  • Empathetic
  • Learns from mistakes and takes criticism well
  • Organized and thoughtful
  • Receptive and a good listener

With the right set of soft skills, a c level employee will be able to better lead their team and make decisions that benefit the whole company, not just themselves. The other advantage of hiring someone with strong soft skills is that they will more likely learn faster even if they don’t necessarily have the technical skills that you are looking for. Their openness to learn and insightfulness will quicken their transition into their new role.

How Do You Assess Soft Skills?

The best way to assess a person’s soft skills is to ask them situational questions that are either hypothetical or ask them about a time in their past when they came across that situation.

For example, if you want to assess someone’s problem-solving abilities, you may ask them about a situation that they found themselves in where they were presented with a problem that they couldn’t solve, and what they did about it.

You should look for a response that indicates that they asked for help and/or reported the issue to upper management. If your candidate responds that they’ve never run into a problem that they couldn’t solve, then ask what they would do if this kind of scenario came up. If they still can’t answer or are reluctant to accept that there is a situation where they might fail, then you may be dealing with someone who has a big ego and wouldn’t be a good fit for a c level role.

There are also a number of online assessment tools that you can utilize to test a candidate’s social skills. These kinds of tests will make it easier to quantify your candidates’ responses.

Recruiting professionals also use assessment tools to find ideal candidates, so don’t hesitate to contact one if you’re not sure which ones work the best.

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