What are the top 5 soft skills to help you identify high-potential candidates?

The following 5 soft skills are hopefully going to help you identify high-potential candidates.

  • Adaptability




According to research, 69% of hiring managers identify adaptability as the most important soft skill they are looking for. Being able to adapt in economic and business needs can keep your company ahead of competitors.



Ask candidates to recall their reaction during times of big change or when they needed to complete a task outside their job description. Also, it is important to ask about times when the candidate needed to adjust to a colleague’s working style in order to complete a project. Being able to adapt in a task assigned is easier than adapting on other’s people’s habits so make sure to ask questions on both.

  • Culture fit






This does not mean hiring future employees who are similar to your current ones. If all your employees act or think the same, your company won’t thrive. Try and identify whether the candidate shares similar values/beliefs to those of your organization.





Make sure those new employees will bring diversity to your workforce; whether that refers to culture, language or thinking process. Research shows that employees who are a good culture fit are more likely to be productive and satisfied on their roles and are therefore more likely to keep their jobs.


  • Leadership





Research shows that organisations with high quality leader are thirteen times more likely to outperform their competition. During the interview process, you need to assess if the candidate can inspire, motivate and unleash the potential of other people.





Ask them about times where something significant didn’t go according to plan at work and what was the outcome. Regardless of whether its an entry or a CEO role, leadership is a soft skill indicating high-potential candidates and your team should therefore be able to be lead by an entry-level person. Ask the candidate about times where they volunteered to expand their knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so.


  • Growth Potential




In today’s business world, employees need to be able to do their job in a fast paced-environment and progress. Employees leaving their role will cost your company 1.5x that employee’s salary to replace them.




As a result, when employees are given the opportunity to grow and progress within their roles, it does not only decrease the fuss around recruiting someone new but also saves money for your business. Screening for goal-setting and self-motivation can help you identify high-potential candidates.


  • Prioritization





This skill combines multitasking with decision making. In business and life generally we need to be able to prioritize. Are you going to make breakfast for your kids or be on time for your presentation at work? Are you going to work on that big project which is due next week or are you going to help a colleague who needs you? Can you do all of them and what sacrifices you need to make to achieve that?





When we are given a set of tasks we automatically prioritise them depending on the importance of the task at that time. Ask candidates upon their organizational skills. What differs one person from another is how we define those needs and what prioritization process we follow to assess them. Ask candidates about times where they needed to complete several projects at the same time, what was the outcome? Ask them upon their judgment on time allocation.


What are your thoughts on this? What is your company doing to attract and retain high-potential candidates? What are the top 5 soft skills for you?

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