First thing is first, what are soft skills? These are personal attributes or traits that people may have. These are often variables that can be used to determine if someone will mesh well with a team or company’s culture. As specialty chemical recruiters, we often dive deep into the soft skills that our clients are looking for when searching for a candidate. These are things that we dive deep into when speaking with candidates to ensure the candidate and the organization both will feel it is a great match.

Examples of soft skills:

  • Communication styles
  • Work ethic
  • Team player or lone wolf
  • Leadership style
  • Time management
  • Empathy
  • Ego
  • Self-starter
  • Organization
  • Attitude

To break these down further, these traits can include the things that make people thrive in a work environment. Some people prefer a fast-paced environment that keeps them on their toes while others like to have a more controlled and evenly paced daily schedule. Some people thrive working in teams while others may prefer to work on their own. Some roles require some tough skin while others require any sort of ego to be left at the door. This can even come down to company size preference and where people fit the best. Smaller companies tend to require people to wear many hats and some people love that. While others may prefer to stay in their lane and enjoy the perks of being in a larger company. These are the traits that a hiring manager will not see on paper. A resume will not paint the full picture of a candidate’s soft skills which is where it becomes so important to screen candidates through phone, video, or onsite interviews.

Why to consider soft skills and how to assess them

Hard skills are often easier to assess on a resume before even speaking with a candidate. These often are boxes that can be checked yes or no if a candidate has the skill, capability, or experience. However, soft skills require conversations. These are important to dig into because these are factors that determine how well a candidate will work within the team and organization. This will also help with retaining candidates; if the candidate’s personality fits in with the team, chances are they are going to enjoy their work more and be more willing to stay longer. To be able to access soft skills, hiring managers need to have conversations to get to know their personality and work style. Interview questions that are based on behavior can help identify soft skills. For example, questions starting with, “how would you handle (insert situation)?” Also ask questions about what makes them thrive in work when it comes to environment, teamwork, pace, and culture. Reference checks are another way to get a better idea from those who have worked with the candidate. When working with a recruiter, they can do much of the screening for soft skills and pass on the candidates that they feel will fit best with your team’s style. Soft skills are key to making sure a candidate will fit happily within your team.

Are you looking for top talent in the Specialty Chemical, Plastics, or Animal Health industry?

Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your team. Boaz Partners is a premier executive search firm focused on the direct recruitment of executives and professionals for the specialty chemicals and plastics space. We are your partner, and our focus is on custom recruiting solutions.