Getting the right fit – The importance of reviewing candidates “Soft Skills” and how to assess them

by Lynn McCrindle, PhoenixHRIS |
August 2020

Due to COVID-19, the global job market has changed significantly over the last six months. These days, more candidates are competing for the same role and, as a result, recruiters have been inundated with countless applications flooding their inbox. As competition is at an all-time high, new trends have emerged on the employment scene as we search for the right candidate amongst all the white noise.

Many organisations are now looking beyond the resume and are assessing the soft skills of their candidates for jobs that can’t be automated or processed through artificial intelligence. Furthermore, candidates want to utilise their acquired soft skills transferred from other positions where they have been stood down as a result of the pandemic. According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends of 2019 , soft skills are becoming increasingly more vital for employers, as these are the skills that are going to add to the growing value and wealth of their workforce.

The 4 trends transforming your workplace

Pictures source: LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019

The top five soft skills that employers are looking for in their candidates are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and time management. This focus has become so important to the recruiter it now supersedes the demand of hard skills by 92%.Most hiring and firing decisions come down to soft skills

According to LinkedIn behavioral data, creativity is the most in demand soft skill and it extends from the once assumed artistic outputs to more about how we solve problems in original ways. This soft skills trend will most likely continue to rise by 2030.

However, many companies are still struggling with how to accurately process soft skills despite their growing value, and they need a strategy on how to do this.  For most recruiters, there is now a bottleneck for application reviewing and processing which is often delayed and ineffective due to employers using the same or less resources and methods since before the pandemic.

Additionally, to measure soft skills from a CV alone can be misleading. There may be candidates who look great on paper but they don’t own the necessary soft skills that are right for the job. On the flip side, some candidates will present a mediocre CV but their demonstration to apply desired soft skills to their workplace situations is outstanding.


So, with this in mind, how do you assess soft skills when you have so many candidates offering so many attributes?


Sorting out the candidate clutter can be overwhelming and soft skills are hard to quantify. This is where PhonenixHRIS can offer you a strategy and a solution.

Interview questions are the best way to assess soft skills, particularly when they’re part of a structured interview process. However, in times of of physical distancing it has become more important than ever to access technology and tools that connect us rather than stand-alone traditional face to face contact.

Recruiters also need to future-proof how their candidates are selected. One of the most effective processes for determining your candidates’ soft skills is to invite them to complete a video screening session.

Through the PhoenixHRIS app, candidates attend a one-way video interview, and are sent screening questions to answer during the recording. Candidates can access the interview using any device with a camera.

Responses from candidates are just as organic as a regular conversation as they can only see questions they need to answer after the recording has begun. Questions can be generated to trigger responses from candidates using their soft skills and assessed on the following criteria:

  • Adaptability – what is the quality of the candidate being able to adjust to new conditions?
  • Culture Fit – how well would the candidate’s individual attitudes, values and beliefs align with the core values and culture of an organisation?
  • Collaboration – How successful will the candidate be at working with someone to produce something?
  • Leadership – How well does this candidate assume leadership and drive action?
  • Prioritisation – How does the candidate determine relativity as well as the urgency of tasks?

Through video screening, employers have the opportunity to place their candidates in situations through questions and see how they react. Characteristics such as voice tone, choice of words used, and facial expressions can create a complex personality profile about the candidates. This will help determine the probability of a candidate fitting into the organisation and the chance of employee turnover over time.

Through video screening, behavioural and situational questions should be asked.  These questions need to be open-ended, allowing candidates to talk about their individual experiences in their own way. Behavioural interview questions ask candidates to draw on their past experiences.

The PhoenixHRIS Video Screening app is different from others in the marketplace as you don’t need to pay anything to set it up. Video screening units can simply be purchased in packs of 50, 100, 250 or 500 video recordings, or on a monthly basis and the client only pays for completed video screenings. Using video screening as part of your recruitment process will connect you to the right person for the job with a more holistic understanding about the candidate.

More benefits include:

  • Multiple different sets of questions can be generated relevant to different role types
  • Video responses can be shared with multiple decision makers with no direct contact between the candidate and interview panel
  • Responses are recorded and can be reviewed at any time, and therefore interview scribes are not needed. Recordings can be store for 12 months unless otherwise arranged.
  • Interviews panel members do not have to run to a schedule, and there is no limit to how many interviews can be recorded in a day.

Organisations continue to grow during this pandemic as they adopt to a new way of doing business. Therefore, we must adapt to the changing employment landscape and look further into what our candidates are saying and not just writing on their resumes. PhoenixHRIS is proactive during this turning point, as we strive to remain current with new workplace and recruitment trends and we are ready to consult with you about your soft skills video screening packages.


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