Objective Soft Skills Assessment





Objective Soft Skills Assessment

The work environment, much like the human body, is an intricate mix of different autonomous but interdependent parts that have to work in harmony if success is to be achieved. Soft skills are the social skill sets that individuals require in order to enhance their interactions with one another to ensure they complete their assigned tasked efficiently and effectively. Incorporating soft skills assessments during the hiring provides insight into the compatibility of the candidate with other employees in the organization and is instrumental in ensuring harmony and employee motivation especially as concerns entry level hires. The changing business environment has necessitated the development of soft skills assessments, training and development since it most, if not all employees will interact with the clients at one time or another hence the need to ensure impeccable customer service. This is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction and business continuity through their continued patronage as there is growing trend in consumer preference of establishments with better service since most services and goods have very little variations in quality.

Caution should however be exercised to ensure a balance between a candidates cognitive and soft skills as an organization might end up with an employee who is unable to complete their tasks but gets along with the rest of the employees. The best way to get the candidate of ‘best fit’ is to incorporate soft skills testing with cognitive reasoning tests since more often than not these two are not mutually exclusive. By using case study and scenario-based questioning techniques, the interviewer can better assess a candidate’s ability to work through tasks and resolve problems effectively while maintaining the expected levels of composure and professionalism. At the end of the day, the candidate that can provide the best solution will have demonstrated to possess critical thinking and problem solving capabilities and has a higher probability of maintaining high professionalism levels with fellow workers and clients despite any personal differences they might encounter.

Traditional interview techniques deny the interviewer the chance to know the candidate’s true abilities since they are generally standard questions whose responses can be practiced and delivered flawlessly. Relying on references can also lead to selection of a poor candidate as they can be influenced to offer biased and false information. Formulating good case studies and scenarios will ensure that the candidate is forced to display their ability to evaluate and understand a problem and proceed to calmly, but quickly, formulate possible solutions that would result in the successful resolution of the task or problem at hand. They also reduce the probability of interviewer prejudice and discrimination against certain classes of candidates since soft skills assessment is a highly subjective and underdeveloped field by providing evidence of a candidate’s performance. They also ensure that the company can give candidates better comprehensive interview feedback that can help them identify their weaknesses and improve their future career prospects by working on the highlighted areas.

A good case study or scenario should provide the candidate with adequate background information on the problem and the prevailing condition of the company then proceed to ask questions that have a twist, mostly of a moral nature. This will allow the interviewer the chance to assess both the candidate’s ability to quickly analyze and understand situations that occur during the execution of their duties and how they are able to address these problems successfully while maintaining high levels of professionalism. The best questions should be based on actual situations and events that have occurred at the organization to give the interviewers better understanding of what entails a good response and enable them to form informed and fair assessments of all candidates. This would also go a long way in the development and enhancing of an organization’s knowledge base with quality strategies to tasks completion and crises management and enhance policy formulation by getting a variety of fresh ideas from new external perspectives that can be more objective.

This method provides a more holistic evaluation of a candidate’s abilities and compatibility (Ma, 2012, 10) than Moss’s and Tilly’s method which can be easily cheated through revision and rehearsals. By training managers to keep logs of challenges in their departments that threaten the continuity of the organization’s productivity and their resolution will help them in formulating challenging assessment case studies and enable them to form accurate assessment of candidate aptitude through the viability and comprehensiveness of the solutions they provide. This assessment scheme is however still subjective since it largely relies on the managers’ determination of what entails a viable solution and can also lead to prejudice. The solution provided can indicate certain insights into the problem that the manager had not previously seen and lead to a simple but efficient solution making the manager feel threatened by its creator. It also creates little avenue for corroboration of results since the manager is taken as the authority on what is workable and what is not and their word is usually final. It might also be challenging to establish the quality and objectivity of the case studies with respect to ensuring the selection of most qualified candidate.
Work Cited

Ma, Minhua. Serious Games Development and Applications: Third International Conference, Sgda 2012, Bremen, Germany, September 26-29, 2012. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer, 2012. Print.

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