A Guide to Evaluating a Job Candidate’s Hard & Soft Skills

Hiring the right candidate for a job is one of the most important decisions managers can make. A company's success depends on the quality of its workforce, and hiring the right people with the right skills is essential. To make the best hiring decisions, employers must consider both hard and soft skills during the evaluation process.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are typically the most critical aspect of a job. Employers require candidates to have specific technical, functional, or industry-specific knowledge and abilities to perform the job successfully. Here are some steps to evaluate a candidate's hard skills:

1. Job-Specific Technical Assessment

One of the best ways to evaluate hard skills is through job-specific technical assessments. This will give you an idea of an applicant's technical proficiency and ability to apply their skills to the job. For example, if you are hiring a software developer, you can give them a coding challenge to complete. When it comes to hiring an accountant, however, you can give them a financial analysis task to finish.

2. Certifications and Education

You can evaluate an applicant's hard skills by looking at their certifications and education. This is particularly relevant for fields requiring specific qualifications, such as healthcare, engineering, and IT. A degree or certification from a reputable institution can demonstrate the applicant has a solid understanding of the necessary technical knowledge.

3. Work Samples and Portfolios

Look at an applicant's work samples and portfolios to evaluate their skills and creativity. This is especially important for creative fields like graphic design, writing, and photography. By viewing the applicant's previous work, you can get a sense of their style, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines. This can also determine if the applicant's work aligns with your company's values and goals.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are equally important when hiring new employees. The right candidate should not only have the technical skills and experience necessary for the job but should also possess strong communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership skills. These skills can be evaluated through various methods, such as:

1. Behavioral Interviews

These interviews focus on past experiences and how the candidate handled certain situations. By doing so, the interview can assess the candidate's problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills. During a behavioral interview, the interviewer may ask questions like "Can you describe a time when you had to work with a difficult team member? How did you handle the situation?"

2. Reference Checks

Employers often ask for references from previous employers or colleagues to better understand a candidate's work experience, skills, and work ethic. These references can provide valuable insights into the candidate's strengths and weaknesses and help the employer make a more informed hiring decision.

3. Personality Assessments

Personality assessments evaluate a candidate's personality traits, values, and work style. These assessments can help employers identify candidates who fit the company culture and the job requirements. The assessments may include questions about the candidate's communication style, problem-solving abilities, and decision-making skills.

Key Takeaway

Evaluating a job candidate's hard and soft skills is crucial in the hiring process. Hard skills such as technical knowledge, experience, and education are important for a candidate's ability to perform job-specific tasks. Soft skills, on the other hand, are equally important as they contribute to a candidate's ability to work well with others, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing situations.

Test your candidates before hiring them with Kandio. Our skills assessment platform allows you to evaluate candidates' hard and soft skills through customized tests tailored to your job requirements. Try Kandio today for free to streamline your hiring process!

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