Measuring Soft Skills With Pre-Employment Testing

1. What exactly are soft skills? 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), involving a mix of 700 administrative and HR managers, examined the relative importance of technical expertise vs. soft skills. The results showed that:

  • 67% of HR 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 HR managers felt technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills

The participants of the study then identified the following soft skills as being the most important at their organizations:

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

2. How do you identify these soft skills required for the positions in your organization?

Valid and reliable psychometric pre-employment tests 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 skills required for any position, by examining the abilities, motivations, and personality traits that underpin those characteristics.

Soft Skills Pre-Employment Assessments
Organization Skills Personality (Conscientiousness)
Verbal Communication Aptitude (Working with Words), Personality
Teamwork & Collaboration Personality (Independence)
Problem Solving General Abilities, Personality
Tact and Diplomacy Personality, Motivations
Business Writing Aptitude (Working with Words)

3. 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 the 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 as created above. Not only do you have solid job-fit information, you also have information to assist you in onboarding and training the candidate.