Applicant Evaluation: Hard Skills VS Soft Skills – Part 2

Jul 20, 2016

Following up on or last article, here is additional evidence that you need to focus more on applicants’ soft skills when evaluating who deserves the job.

  • According to “Are They Ready to Work?”, a report commissioned by leading organizations and associations representing the business sector, three-quarters of surveyed employers said that incoming high school graduates were deficient in soft skills. Additionally, 40% of employers said that the high school graduates they hire lack adequate soft skills competency for even entry-level jobs.


  • The ECEP data indicates that young people not only lack the soft skills themselves but the opportunity to develop them. Most students say they are not being sufficiently challenged in high school, their work is not relevant to potential future careers, and they experience few significant career-building opportunities such as internships. Although soft skills deficits are even more prominent among young people of color, from low-income families, and whose parents didn’t graduate from high school, the deficits cross the lines of race, ethnicity, education level, and family income leaving almost all young Americans at risk of entering the workforce lacking the skills needed for success. Employees recognize that the incoming workforce will need expensive remedial training to learn critical soft skills.


  • A study by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) confirms the importance of strong soft skills in the development of effective leadership. Although leaders who were most effective during organizational transitions were skilled communicators—able and willing to articulate the rationale for change and good listeners who demonstrated sensitivity when dealing with employees—more than half the survey respondents reported that the leaders in their own organizations were not able to clearly communicate rationale for change.


  • Computerworld’s hiring and skills survey reported that IT executives are increasingly looking for staff who demonstrate a broad range of soft skills in addition to their technical abilities. Survey respondents said writing and public speaking are two of the most important soft skills they look for when hiring new employees. Additionally, they favor candidates who understand the business process, can work well with a team, know how to get their points across, are inquisitive, use initiative, and are willing to take risks.


  • When hiring administrative staff—according to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam,, and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)—67% of human resource (HR) managers would hire an applicant with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking. However, only nine percent would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills.


  • The overwhelming majority (93 %) of the HR managers surveyed said technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills. The most in-demand soft skills cited by the managers are organizational skills (87%), verbal communication (81%), teamwork and collaboration (78%). problem solving (60%), tact and diplomacy (59%), business writing (48%), and analytical skills (45%). Also surveyed were IAAP members, who were asked to report the soft skills areas in which they would like to improve. The areas they mentioned the most were analytical, verbal communication, negotiation, and problem-solving.


  • In a Job Outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), the top characteristics looked for in new hires by 276 employer respondents (mostly from the service sector) were all soft skills: communication ability, a strong work ethic, initiative, interpersonal skills, and teamwork.


Our No-Fail Hiring™ System exactly focuses on soft-skill detection. Our Recru-Tec™ Test also perfectly fits with the suggested soft-skill approach to job fitting assessment. To evaluate job-related soft skills and measure how they fit (or not) your specific work environment, use the Recru-Tec Test. With a precision of over 90% it guarantees to detect what you did not see during an interview – no matter how structured it is.

The Recru-Tec test will tell you if a candidate

  • Can fit in YOUR work environment,
  • Will be able to persist and follow through on directives,
  • Will be courteous and friendly,
  • Will be honest with you, your peers and with your customers,
  • Can work under pressure,
  • Is customer and company-driven or mostly money-motivated,

And much more…

Use the Recru-Tec test to avoid trouble. It is your best insurance policy against costly, sometimes deadly hires which may take months or even years to fix.

Best success,

Patrick Valtin,
Best Selling author of “No-Fail Hiring 2.0”

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