The process of looking for a new managerial candidate is challenging since the success of your business often rests on the shoulders of your managers. These people may be the greatest asset to your company. Leadership is responsible for big picture thinking, but your managers ensure the strategies are followed. These people are on the frontline, facing stress from driving results, answering leaders and juggling competing goals. They may be the unsung heroes of your company.   

When you are hiring for managerial positions, it’s important to pay attention to the skill set they bring to your company. While it may be easier to evaluate their past performance and personal relatability, it is also important to delve into their soft skills to ensure your company will be in the right hands. 

What Are Soft Skills? 

These skills support the hard skills most supervisors look for in an interview. While hard skills are easy to measure, such as demonstrating a knowledge of Excel, running a forklift or coding, soft skills are the key factors behind business success. 

These are the leadership skills that help prepare your managers to face their everyday challenges. Some call these interpersonal skills, and they are more difficult to define and measure. They are also transferable and can be used in whatever position your employee holds, which makes the employee adaptable and efficient.

The most important soft skills you want your managers to hold are communication, teamwork, problem-solving, empathy, listening and conflict resolution. 

How to Identify These Soft Skills in Your Managerial Candidates 

In the current job climate, many job seekers understand the necessity of highlighting their soft skills (sometimes labeled “transferable skills”) on their resume. But just because they’ve labeled the skill, doesn’t mean they have the skill. 

The most important soft skill you want your employees to have is the ability to communicate. Your business success may depend on the strength of your employee’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Inherent in that is the ability to listen to others and hear what’s said before formulating an answer. 

Behavioral interview questions help you confirm the skills your candidate has identified in the interview or on their resume. Ask problem-solving and storytelling questions, which can engage the candidate in recalling information that demonstrates the soft skills you’re looking for. Consider: 

  • Tell me about a time you solved a problem at work. 
  • Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a colleague – how was it resolved? 
  • Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager’s priorities or instructions – how did you handle that? 
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake – how did you correct it? How did you handle that with your supervisor? 

Now listen to the answer and watch the response. Job seekers who have well-rehearsed answers may have been through multiple interviews or may not be recounting an actual event. Watch for body language that hints they may be making up a story, such as avoiding eye contact, eyes that dart around the room, rapid eye blinking or if their eyes close for more than a second at a time. Some will touch their face when they aren’t telling the truth, or you may notice a dry mouth, blushing or head shaking.  

Are You Looking for Strong Job Candidates? 

Call Stellar Staffing Solutions when you need the right candidate to fill your job openings. We close your labor shortage gaps efficiently and effectively by delivering top talent to the interview. Call our recruiters today and let us help you grow your business. 

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