Tag Archive: Soft Skills

  1. How to Identify the Best Candidates for Remote Work

    Use these 6 competencies to identify successful remote employees – especially helpful in today’s stressful times

    Remote work isn’t a new phenomenon. Some companies have been hiring remote workers for years. The old fashioned term for remote work was “telecommuting.” Remember that? Telecommuting was exciting! “You mean I can spend the entire day in my PJs?!”

    Today, remote work is strategy, and getting more strategic by the day. Even before the coronavirus pandemic changed our work lives forever, companies began shifting some work to remote employees to help save costs, make schedules more flexible, and even increase their talent pool.

    The challenges with managing and hiring remote workers will only get more complex as companies fundamentally change their hiring practices in a post Coronavirus world. The biggest problem with hiring remote workers is the hiring process itself. If you are using the same process as you use for on-premise workers, you are either not happy with the outcomes or losing good candidates who simply don’t want to put on an “interview suit.”

    Using your existing process, how do you know if your candidate is self-directed enough, can build relationships remotely, or is agile enough to learn at a distance? In other words, what are the knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and competencies that lead to peak performance?

    Here are 6 key competencies that we have found are the most telling of success in a remote role:

    1. Adaptability

    Open to new ideas and ways of doing business as well as adopting to change willingly.

    2. Resilience

    Responds to challenges with composure, optimism and hardiness; perseveres and exhibits healthy stress management strategies.

    3. Learning Agility

    Learns quickly, applies newly learned information and skills to innovate and adapt, and uses feedback to improve.

    4. Communicating effectively

    Expresses thoughts and ideas in a clear and effective manner.

    5. Relationship management

    Builds and maintains meaningful and positive connections with others inside or outside of the organization.

    6. Teamwork and Collaboration

    Cooperates with others through mutual trust and accountability to accomplish shared objectives.

    If you are hiring remotely or realizing that remote hiring will be a key part of your post-Coronavirus strategy, you should seriously consider measuring for these competencies.

    Talent assessments and video interviewing can help you identify and measure these competencies so that when you do hire that remote employee, you’ll know they can handle the work in their PJs all day long…

  2. 6 Skills You Need To Be A Great Leader During Crisis

    Crisis management, to many of us, is a process. A plan. But in today’s world, it’s also a set of skills that leaders must have as they navigate the unknown.

    While coronovirus has disrupted all our lives, leaders carry an extra-heavy weight during crisis. Right now, they’re doing everything in their power to keep the business alive while also supporting disrupted teams, being a watch dog over employee health and morale, and having to make impossible decisions to part ways with people they care for.

    Yes, we’ve seen crisis before. There was the sudden tragedy of 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008, and too many natural disasters to count.

    But this – a pandemic spreading across the globe at terrifying speed, nations issuing shelter-in-place orders, disruption shutting down public institutions and our economy… No previous-crisis experience could have prepared us for this.

    Which is why crisis management processes and plans aren’t enough. Business also need leaders with crisis management skills, including:

    1. Communication

    In a crisis, the need for clear, concise, and timely communication is more important than ever. There are new policies to communicate, along with state-of-the-business announcements, town halls, and team check-ins. Leaders must be ready to engage the right people at the right time and inspire action.

    2. Resilience

    Navigating crisis isn’t a pleasant experience, but leaders who respond with composure, optimism, and hardiness will gain the trust and support of their people. No matter what adversity they face, they’re able to think quickly and decisively, remain energetic, and persevere through challenges.

    3. Innovation

    Outside of crisis, innovation can take shape through ideas or experiments that help the business stay sharp or get ahead. But in crisis, innovation becomes about survival. Leaders must be able to embrace challenges and change calmly while thinking outside the box to drive the business forward.

    4. Structure

    In a crisis, structure, normalcy, and routine are the first things to go. Leaders must re-establish structure by adapting strategies and processes to the current and changing needs of the business. Structure doesn’t mean being rigid or inflexible. It means anticipating problems and addressing them quickly.

    5. Influence

    In times of uncertainty, leaders must still be able to make decisions with confidence. They may not have all the answers, but they proactively gather input from diverse sources so that they understand how all groups are impacted. This is how they build influence, get buy-in, and drive change.

    6. Support

    Above all, support is what people need most from their leaders during crisis. Leaders must provide clear direction, positive connections, and decisive judgement – not only to keep productivity up, but to help people see the light at the end of the tunnel and find meaning in the work they’re doing.

    As businesses navigate the current crisis and the unknowns ahead, these are the leaders they need at the helm: Leaders who are naturally good at managing crisis, or who, with a little development, will be ready to rise to a future occasion.

    Dedicating a few minutes to better understand your own leadership skills and the skills of those around you will go a long way in helping you leverage strengths, close gaps, and emerge from crisis stronger than ever. It’s professional development for yourself, and a way to build healthy crisis management behaviors into your company’s CulturalDNA.

  3. Nontraditional Talent Pools & How to Tap Into Them

    No matter which way you look at it, recruiting is hard work – especially in 2019. The jobs are plenty, the job seekers are few, and diversity is top of mind at many organizations. So it’s no surprise that gaining traction with potential candidates requires careful thought combined with a whole lot of action. 

    As a result, recruiters need to revisit their strategies, expand their reach, and tap into new or otherwise nontraditional talent pools. Of course, adding this to your current workload might feel like a second job, but thankfully, there are programs and tools that help facilitate the process. Here are three to consider adding to your existing toolkit:

    Returnship programs

    ‘Nontraditional’ applies to a wide variety of job seekers, including those out of the workforce for an extended period. Maybe they served in the military, spent a few years taking care of a loved one, or decided to pursue an advanced degree full-time. No matter the reason, a returnship offers these people the opportunity to slide back into the world of work.

    Felicia Fleitman, who manages strategic pipelines at Verisk, a data analytics company, explains the returnship experience as “an intern program for mid-level professionals returning to work.” Recognizing that returnees need help in specific areas, Verisk provides access to training, development, coaching, and mentorship resources designed to restart their career and get them up to speed. Sometimes this leads to a job offer. Sometimes their return isn’t the right fit – and that’s OK too.  

    In terms of recruiting, adding a returnship program provides direct access to countless candidates, who might go overlooked in an ATS. At the same time, you’re giving returnees the chance to get their confidence back while contributing to your organization. A win-win, all around. 

    Video interviewing

    Maybe you’re not in a position to implement a new program, such as returnship. Luckily, there are other ways to tap into nontraditional talent without building something from scratch. For a quick win, take a look at some of your most time-intensive recruitment processes. The administrative workload associated with scheduling and screening candidates is probably not the best use of your recruiters’ time. That workload, coupled with pressure to move fast, forces recruiters to stick with what they know and avoid looking outside the traditional mold. 

    With a tool like video interviewing to automate and streamline, recruiters are able to review more candidates in less time, while continuing to collaborate with hiring managers and other stakeholders. 

    As far as nontraditional talent goes, this technology enables all types of candidates to interview when and where they’re able to – rather than simply at the behest of the organization. Be it pre-recorded or live, video interviewing emphasizes convenience – an important factor in a tight job market, especially with so many job seekers either actively employed or else unavailable during office hours. Video interviewing is also mobile friendly, allowing you to reach candidates in different cities, looking to relocate, or those with mobility issues who can’t necessarily travel with ease. With this type of solution in place, you’re able to cast a wider net with fewer strings attached. 

    Soft skills assessment

    When it comes to finding and engaging new talent, you might still need to think outside the box – or in this case, your industry. Sure, it’s great when candidates fall into your lap having the exact resume and experience you’re looking for. But how often does that happen in 2019? Instead of limiting your search to candidates who’ve done the job before, you can use assessments to find people with transferrable skills that will work well in your industry. 

    Take sales, for example. The ability to sell isn’t contingent on years of experience in a sales position. It’s about having the soft skills and behavioral traits necessary to be productive. Using a pre-hire assessment, you can identify candidates with the highest potential for success, even if their background doesn’t correspond exactly. In fact, nontraditional talent may even outperform other hires because they’re a stronger match – and you won’t know until you assess. 

    It’s tough to say if and when the job market will change, but for now, it’s a candidate’s game and recruiters need to play through. To get candidates from those nontraditional talent pools you haven’t recruited from before, you need to shore up your resources and dive in head first. 

    Written by Greg Moran,
    CEO of Outmatch