How to pass the soft skills test to land your dream client
With the greater use of artificial intelligence in recruitment, there is a strong likelihood that soft skill “buzzwords” will be picked up by job portals, ranking some candidates up higher in the short-listing process than others. Here are the top 10 soft skills that recruiters and clients are looking for and how yours may be tested.
Soft skills make you as a candidate unique. They aren’t just personal attributes, they are also a validation of your experiences. You can even use your soft skill experiences as ice breakers in client pitch meetings or agency interviews, as previously reported by The Freelance Informer.
For every soft skill you list on your CV or professional profile, you should have an anecdote or even an abbreviated “case study” to bring those skills alive to prove your point and worth. While soft skills are not always listed on profiles these days like hard skills are (e.g.academic and vocational qualifications, certifications, etc.) it shouldn’t be long before they are required to be listed on contractor and freelancer job portal profiles.
According to a report by recruitment tech form, ETZ, there is a list of soft skills that are becoming universally accepted as must-haves by end clients and their recruitment agencies.
Top 10 Soft Skills & Buzzwords Hiring Companies are looking for
- Communication – effectiveness and style
- Problem solving – overcoming hiccups and obstacles
- Positivity – optimism and half glass full attitude
- Punctuality – on time, every time
- Organisation – structure, processes and routines
- Teamwork – group interaction and collaboration
- Flexibility – ability to adapt to changing situations
- Self-improvement – accept and learn from criticism
- Business sense – solid business decision making
- Accountability – takes ownership and accepts responsibility
How clients might test your soft skills
Most recruiters recognise that in the case of many bad hires, a lack of good soft skills is the underlying issue. And it’s easy to get it wrong, according to ETZ’s report. As soft skills are impossible to assess accurately from a CV, resume or application form, interviewing is key and can be a good indicator of soft skills.
However, it may be easy to misread a candidate that is fully prepared and who interviews well. References are also very useful, especially if referees are followed up properly. Social proof such as LinkedIn recommendations might also tell recruiters or potential clients something, however, they may not always be taken at face value.
While hiring with a probation period and seeing how it goes is suited to permanent hires, for the freelance and contractor market, there is often a need to hit the ground running. ETZ suggests the best way that a new client may gauge your soft and social skills before hiring you for a fixed-term contract or a project is to place you into a group role-play scenario to see how you perform and interact with one another. For many of us, role play can make us cringe, but it is something that sometimes can’t be avoided.
To fully assess your soft skills, it’s advisable to not rely on any single channel or example of your soft skill, so use as many inputs as possible, enabling you to stick out from other candidates.