Pre-Employment Testing To Measure Soft Skills

What exactly are soft skills and how are you supposed to know what soft skills are required for a position? A study conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) provides some answers to the first question and the Prevue Assessments provide an answer to the second. The study that involved a mix of 700 administrative and HR managers first examined the relative importance of technical expertise vs. soft skills and concluded that:

  • 67% of human resources managers said they would hire an applicant with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking;
  • Only 9% would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak soft skills;
  • 93% of human resource managers felt technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

The managers identified the following soft skills as being the most important at their organizations:

Organization Skills 87%
Verbal Communication 81%
Teamwork & Collaboration 78%
Problem Solving 60%
Tact & Diplomacy 59%
Business Writing 48%


So, if these are the soft skills that you should be considering, how do you identify the soft skills required for positions in your organization? Valid and reliable psychometric pre-employment tests like the Prevue Assessments are the best and most effective way to address this question. Prevue Assessments use a scientifically validated system to develop a Prevue Benchmark identifying the specific soft skill required for any position by examining the abilities, interest/motivation and personality traits that underpin those soft skills:

Organization Skills Personality (Conscientiousness)
Verbal Communication Abilities, Words & Personality
Teamwork & Collaboration Personality (Independent)
Problem Solving Abilities & Personality
Tact and Diplomacy Personality & Motivation
Business Writing Abilities (Working with Words)


Now the final question; even when you know what you are looking for, how do you determine whether a candidate has or can readily develop the soft skills required for a position? A candidate’s potential for exhibiting the required soft skills can be measured by matching the candidate’s scores on the Prevue Assessments against the benchmark of abilities, motivation and personality traits that underpin the required soft skills. Not only do you have solid job fit information, you also have information to assist you in onboarding and training the candidate.