It can be easy to become fixated on assessing technical abilities such as numerical reasoning and familiarity with Excel when hiring accounting staff. While these talents are vital to the individual’s success, soft skills are equally important.
According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, most recruiters (89%) say that issues with new hires are linked to a lack of soft skills, not technical capabilities.
With that in mind, you must test soft skills when hiring accounting staff. But what soft skills should you be assessing? While a quality accounting hire should possess a good mix of soft skills, American Intercontinental University listed the following three skills as the most important for financial professionals.
Communication skills are a valuable asset to any employee, but especially those in the accounting industry. These employees must be able to effectively communicate with clients, co-workers, and supervision. They should leverage both verbal and written forms of communication to relay important information about their role within the company.
A lack of communication skills can cause friction between the new hire and existing employees. In turn, this will drastically diminish morale and can hinder productivity. A team that cannot effectively communicate will not be able to share information during their workday. Therefore, you must assess a candidate’s communication skills before adding them to your staff.
Stepping into an accounting position requires much more than just crunching numbers. These individuals must be able to analyze complex problems and devise unique solutions to overcome those issues. Individuals with strong analytical abilities will work independently while also contributing to the organization’s mission.
Conversely, an accounting hire that falls short in this category will have to rely on the talents of others when they encounter challenges throughout their workday. By administering an analytical skills test online, you can expedite your hiring process while ensuring that the candidate is proficient in this soft skill.
Attention to Detail
Data entry errors can create a whole world of problems for your organization. If an accounting hire lacks attention to detail, they are more prone to making these types of errors. If these problems are not remedied quickly, miscalculations can make it difficult for your company to maintain accurate records.
Unfortunately, candidates who possess requisite certifications and experience may still be lacking in this soft skill. That is why we recommend testing a candidate’s attention to detail abilities early in the assessment process. By doing so, you can identify high-quality candidates while also eliminating less talented individuals.
Tests You Should Use to Assess Soft Skills
When assessing an accounting candidate’s soft skills, we recommend that you incorporate the following tests into your hiring process:
Communication Skills Evaluation Test: Several different tests fall into this category. A few examples include Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary & Usage, and Punctuation. However, the Business Communication skills test is one of the best options for assessing the soft skills of an accounting hire. This exam includes 40 questions and covers topics like Business Meetings, Listening Skills, Communication in the Workplace, and Writing Skills.
Analytical Skills Test Online: You can select a pre-designed analytical skills test or build your own. You can incorporate questions from topics directly related to the accounting industry, such as data analytics and negotiation skills. These types of tests will assess an applicant’s ability to think logically and work through complex problems through data analysis.
Attention to Detail Skills Test: The Attention to Detail skills test covers Finding Errors, Word Analysis, and Word Meaning. This test includes 40 questions in fill-in-the-blank, multiple select, simple select, and true/false formats. In addition to this test, you may want to incorporate Numerical Proofreading into your pre-hire assessment, as it deals directly with numerical data.
Using these tests, you can better gauge each candidate’s ability to perform non-technical functions related to normal business processes. As you focus on testing these attributes, you can determine which applicants have the best chance of easy integration with your existing team.
Soft Skills Testing from eSkill
If you want to incorporate exams such as the communication skills evaluation test into your hiring protocols, eSkill can help. We have a comprehensive library of online tests designed to assess an applicant’s hard and soft skills.
These exams will yield a measurable score based on the individual’s performance during the assessment. This score allows your HR department to make data-driven hiring decisions so that you can select the best candidates for vacant accounting positions.
You can choose from one of our expertly designed skills tests or build a custom exam using our selection of assessment questions.
Find out more by scheduling a free demo today. You will quickly see why eSkill is the market leader in the online skills assessment industry.