A dynamic CV and a strong cover letter may help HR professionals identify which applicants to call in for interviews. But, unless you are very lucky, if the interview is not conducted effectively it is not always possible to determine which candidate is the best fit for the company.

The Right Candidate Will Have the Right Soft Skills

Soft skills can determine a good fit and HR teams are taking their time these days to think about what soft skills the company needs in a new employee when it comes to company culture. Before they call the potential employee to an interview, these skills are determined by knowing the company’s personality. This includes aspects like:

• Company atmosphere – whether it is formal or relaxed
• Dress code
• Whether projects are tackled with teamwork or autonomously
• Pace – if the company is competitive, dynamic and fast-paced, or more deliberate
• Working hours – standard or flexible

By using these guidelines HR pros formulate a company profile that will help determine whether prospective employees will fit in with the existing workforce. For example: Linda is the HR manager of ABC Corporation. When scheduling interviews Linda makes a point of making the company culture known by suggesting to candidates not to wear a suit to the interview. Once the interview starts, Linda takes note of how the interviewee dressed, and whether they feel comfortable in the relaxed environment and with what they are wearing.

Soft Skills in Job Attributes

Besides company culture, soft skills can also have a powerful impact on job performance. While a potential employee may meet all the educational and technical requirements of the role, soft skills will make or break an interviewer’s decision because of future job performance. For example: Linda calls three equally qualified and experienced applicants to be interviewed for an IT manager role. To make a final decision between the candidates, Linda formulates a set of mock IT problems as part of the interview process. One of the applicants is particularly good at creatively solving complex problems on the spot, and is hired. The soft skills displayed by this candidate shows what his future job performance will be like.

A Happy Employee is a Productive Employee

The idea behind this HR trend is to determine whether the employee will be happy in their new work environment, and will be good at their job. While not every single day at work can be guaranteed to be a great day, the idea of work being something like contemporary slavery has long fallen away. Research has shown a marked increase in productivity levels when employees are satisfied – and HR trends are evolving to suit the statistics.

Successful Interviewing on the Increase

Without first thinking about what is needed and formulating a way of discovering whether the candidate has these attributes, it is not possible to make use of soft skills in improving hires. As HR professionals are learning more about interview techniques, the process is becoming easier and staff retention rates are climbing. They are learning that critical thinking in the hiring process is essential, and that planning is the first step to successful and sustainable long-term hires. With trends like this popping up, the vital role that HR plays in the ultimate success of every company is getting well-deserved recognition.