2018 Talent Acquisition Trends 5 2

You’ve assessed your candidates through online testing that is EEOC compliant, and you know you’ve objectively got a group of candidates who have the skills necessary for the current job opening, but how do you choose the one who will be the best fit for your company in the long run?

It can be difficult to assess candidates’ intangible skills. Their résumé may have some clues, but to assess intangible skills properly involves asking the right questions and knowing what to look for in an interview.


It’s possible for candidates to appear more energetic in an interview, knowing this will be assessed, but how do you assess their normal energy levels? You can do this by asking candidates about their interests and hobbies outside of the workplace. Look for areas of passion—people who talk enthusiastically about playing sports, reading, community involvement, or other interests will tend to be more energetic and motivated than the ones who are couch potatoes in their free time. Candidates who are excited about their work and can tell you about their long-term career plans will also typically have high energy levels. You can also ask them about times when they had an opportunity to take on an increased work load and how they managed the extra work and responsibility.

Proper Motivation

Every candidate will be motivated by something, but is it the right motivation for your company? You want to determine if they are motivated by a paycheck or a desire to help improve your business. A good sign of proper motivation lies in the questions the candidate asks. Candidates who appear inquisitive about the job, asking difficult questions that reveal they have put some serious thought into the position, are the ones you are looking for. Resiliency is also a key signifier of motivation in a candidate. Ask them about obstacles they have faced and overcome in their professional or personal life. Their answers will help reveal the degree to which they are determined and driven in their lives and how much drive they will bring to the position.


Leadership potential is important and can be a good way to select a candidate out a group of evenly skilled and experienced people. One good way of assessing leadership qualities is to find out how your candidates are involved in their communities. Someone who serves on their local school board or the board of a non-profit is more likely to be a leader at work. These kinds of involvements may or may not be listed on a résumé, so be sure to ask about them. Another way to assess leadership is to imagine your group of candidates sitting in a room discussing something, when a new person comes in and joins in the conversation. After a few minutes, if you were to ask the newcomer who had the best leadership skills, who would they select? And who would they rank second, third, and fourth? This exercise should help you rank your candidates in terms of their leadership potential.

Working Well with Diverse Groups

The ability to work with groups of people from different backgrounds, educations, and beliefs is becoming an increasingly important skill. Employees who struggle with working and communicating with people different from themselves will have a more difficult time succeeding in the workplace. To assess their ability, ask them if they have collaborated with people who have backgrounds different from their own. If their answer reveals they are not open to new ideas or have steamrolled others’ suggestions, then this is an indicator that they will probably struggle on a diverse team.


Assessing a candidate’s intangible skills is a good way to make the final decision when you have a group of equally experienced and trained candidates. These four strategies will help you find a good candidate who has the intangible skills that will make them a perfect fit for your team.

Five Easy Steps to Finding the Best Person for the Job

We break down the arduous process of filling an important position into five easy steps. From defining the position requirements to pinpointing the most qualified people through assessing their skill levels, we provide all the information you need to develop the kind of data you can base valid, defensible hiring decisions on.

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