A majority of hiring managers with staffing agencies agree screening for soft skills is a challenge. Figuring out if the candidate you want has the qualities you are looking for maybe the most difficult part of the entire interview process. Too often, temporary employee candidates will look good on paper but they may not be as good in person, and soft skills can make all the difference.

Soft skills are a combination of social and communication skills and personality traits, including leadership ability and work ethic. While a contingent staffing candidate may be a master in a particular industry, to be successful they must have more than expertise. In other words, soft skills are more than just buzzwords but are a critical priority when looking for the right candidate.

Using open-ended questions encourages the temporary employee candidate to talk about their individual experiences and allows you to gain a better understanding of the candidate. These are questions you can integrate into your interviews that will give you a good indication of the candidates’ ability to integrate into your team.

  1. Tell me about a time you were asked to do something you’d never done before. How did you react? Adaptability is a key skill you’ll look for in your best hire as these are the people who can grow and move into bigger roles in your company. This type of question gives insight into how the candidate approaches something new and whether or not they embrace a challenge.
  2. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a team member who consistently opposed your ideas, or a team leader who encouraged competition between members? The ability to collaborate and find common ground, even with team members who are difficult to get along with, is an essential workforce management skill to the success of any business. A lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of any project or task.
  3. Think to a time when your manager was not available and a problem came up. How did you handle the situation? This question gives you an idea of how a candidate may work through problems on their own. Can they work through the problem or do they need someone else’s help? At the same time, it helps you identify those who have strong critical thinking abilities and are able to identify problems and solutions independently.
  4. How do you cope when you have too much work to do in the time allotted to do it? This helps you identify those with organizational and time-management skills since there aren’t many times when the plan for your day pans out perfectly. Identify employees who resist the urge to rant about their current employer and instead make it their goal to stay focused on how they control their own to-do list.
  5. What are the most important things to you in a job? Finding temporary employees who fit well with your existing culture means they will have greater job satisfaction, superior job performance and are likely to stay longer. Use this question to determine what the candidate believes is the most important thing in a job and ensure their answer lines up with your company’s value.
  6. Can you take me through the process of how you would explain a complex problem to someone unfamiliar with the situation? This helps you identify contract staffing candidates with great communication skills. Although there are other communication focused interview questions, this one will help you figure out how skilled the candidate is at communicating effectively even in tricky circumstances.

At Stellar Staffing Solutions we have a variety of options to meet your staffing needs and our experts can work with you to find the best candidate for your company’s culture.


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