Category Archives: Interviewing and Onboarding

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6 Crucial Soft Skills that Indicate a Great Hire

Hiring and recruiting practices have largely revolved around hard skills or what a candidate can do. Today, recruiters are becoming more and more aware of the value of soft skills, which affect how people do their jobs, interact with others, and develop themselves. Unlike hard skills, which are often developed on the job or through training, soft skills are difficult to develop and may be impossible to foster in a hire who doesn’t show desired traits.

This is increasingly leading to a trend in hiring for soft skills that make a candidate a good fit for the role, focusing on hard skills as secondary in importance and learnable. You’ll always find people with necessary technical skills, but soft skills determine how hires will adapt, learn, work in teams, and solve problems in the work environment.

Crucial soft skills to look for

While soft skills will naturally vary depending on the specific role and its output, the following 6 soft skills were identified as crucial for many roles in LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report as well as by CEOs including Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Agility

Agility is a soft skill that overlaps heavily with adaptability and ingenuity, which plays into nearly every interaction in a work environment. Hires who show agility can adapt quickly to new circumstances, learn new tools easily, find creative solutions to problems, and self-start.

Culture Fit

In one study by Millennial Branding, 43% of recruiters listed culture fit as among the most important soft skills for making a hire. This ‘skill’ is less about what you can do or how you do it and more about how you do it. For example, a technically company needs someone who is careful and traditional and willing to follow procedures, even in a relatively agile or fast-paced environment. Unfortunately, a good culture fit changes a great deal depending on the company, but it overall encompasses how well the person is likely to mesh into the existing work environment and standards.

Communication

Communication overlaps with collaboration or teamwork and is a crucial skill in any workplace and any role. This translates to both working in teams and effectively communicating ideas and intentions and working in customer-facing roles, where good communication skills can make or break a customer relationship. While there are naturally different levels and aspects of communication that should be looked at depending on the person’s role (an IT developer does not likely need strong written communication skills), showing good communication in and before an interview and during the assessment is a good sign that the candidate can and will do so inside their role.

Persistence

While many companies favor creativity and ingenuity over persistence, psychologist Adam Grant argues that all three tie in together. His research on skilled, successful, and creative people shows that persistence is the common trait behind creative solutions, success in the workplace, and even solving problems.

Growth Potential

LinkedIn’s 2017 Emerging Jobs Report surveyed over 1,200 recruiters who listed growth potential as a top soft skill to look for. This trait encompasses both having a positive attitude and a willingness or ability to learn – enabling the candidate to develop themselves to either move up or continue to progress as their role develops.

Prioritization

Prioritization and time management is a crucial aspect of performance, and one that is being looked at in both competency management and recruitment. Why? Employees who can prioritize value-added and important tasks without being bogged down in meetings and low-level tasks that don’t achieve anything tend to have a considerably higher output with a greater impact on organizational productivity.

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the hiring process, and for good reason. While technical skills will never be irrelevant, it is easier and faster to train someone a hard skill like using Excel than it is to train a soft skill like a willingness to learn or drive.


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How to Identify a Reliable HR Assessment

Whether your HR assessment is intended for pre-hire or for measuring competency, output, or leadership potential in existing employees, it’s crucial that your provider has the capacity to deliver to your needs.

However, with dozens of HR assessment providers on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. With buzzwords ranging from big data and gamification to smart-analytics, it can be difficult to determine what actually provides value and what a good service looks like.

Reviewing what you need and where is an important first step, but afterwards, you still have to identify which providers can reliably offer a good service that works.

Trademarks of a reliable HR assessment

The following factors will help you when reviewing and selecting your assessment provider, so you can make the best choice for your organization.

History of Success

It goes without saying that any HR assessment you choose for your company should have a proven history of success in other companies. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your company, having a history of proven success, either through case studies or proven testimonials will give you a reliable indicator of whether the assessment will work.

Measurement Techniques and Validation

No matter what you’re working to assess, your provider should use science-based methods to perform assessments, starting with their base methodology. Most HR assessments begin with job analysis to determine what should be measured and why. A validation study to verify that the selected criterion will work for your organization is also important (although a pre-validated assessment is something to avoid because you can only validate based on specific conditions for your organization) because it will work to ensure that the factors or competencies being looked for or scored actually relate to performance. No assessment will be 100% valid, simply because there are too many factors involved with human performance, so validity is always context specific in how it applies to your business or even your specific role. Despite that, it’s still important to have because it tells you that available data suggests the assessment will benefit your organization.

Research-Based

Any reliable assessment should be based on extensive research that can be shared, proven, and referred to throughout the process. Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the science of behavior in the workplace, and any reliable HR assessment will use it when forming assessments, methods, and when selecting tools.

Personalization

Your specific company needs are likely specific and individual to your organization. For this reason, nearly any HR assessment must be tailored to meet the individual needs of your organization or developed for your company from a base model. For example, your provider will have to adjust how competencies are scored or valued in your company to ensure it suits the specific application in your company.

Ongoing Support

Whether your HR Assessment developer is creating an internal training program and helping you launch the assessment yourself or working with you throughout the process, you need to be certain of ongoing support. Anything can go wrong at any time, and a reliable company will admit to that and offer ongoing support to ensure you have the tools and structure to ensure long-term success.

HR assessments can fit into recruiting, development, performance management, and leadership planning, so the requirements and output of your provider should vary accordingly. However, if your provider is using science-based assessments with good support, personalization or tailoring options, and a reliable history of success, they can likely deliver the value you need.


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Competency-Based Recruitment: Interviewing Technique that Works

Please join us June 21 to 22 as we go over Competency-Based Recruitment: Interviewing Technique that Works. This two-day public seminar will focus on pre-interview preparation; developing questions and their value; the interview techniques that get specific, behavior-based examples of past performance; and the strategies that follow through on this process.

This workshop takes the behavioral interview even further with a discussion of communication techniques and the use of other types of interview questions.

Participants will learn how to develop a fair and consistent interviewing process, prepare better job advertisements, and create a job analysis and position profile. We will use traditional, behavioral, achievement-oriented, holistic, and situational interview questions to effectively interview applicants (including difficult ones).

The course will also go over costs incurred by an organization when a wrong hiring decision is made, essential communication skills, how to check references more effectively, and employment and human rights laws that can affect the hiring process.

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Course Outline

  • Session 1: The cost of hiring errors
  • Session 2: Why use behavioral interview techniques
  • Session 3: How to get the information you need
  • Session 4: Advertising guidelines
  • Session 5: Communication skills
  • Session 6: Writing the interview questions
  • Session 7: Defensible resume screening
  • Session 8: Developing an effective interview format
  • Session 9: Ethical and legal issues
  • Session 10: Interviewing techniques
  • Session 11: Asking questions and listening to answers
  • Session 12: Reference checks

The investment for this course is P8,500 plus VAT.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time at UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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Streamlining Recruitment with a Competency Framework

Hiring new employees is often a balance between choosing individuals with the hard skills and knowledge to perform well in a role and the personality and behavior to fit well into a company. Traditionally, recruiters create a profile of who they are looking for, and match potential candidates against that profile. Unfortunately, this process heavily focuses on technical skill and formal learning, often overlooking competencies such as attitude and behavior patterns, which can be equally as important.

Competencies show not only what an employee can do but also how and how well they utilize the resources at their disposal (tools, skills, knowledge) to complete their jobs. Using a competency framework as part of the recruitment process allows you to streamline this process by identifying those factors and therefore making better hires.

How competency frameworks streamline recruitment

Improving Interview Accuracy

Competency frameworks allow you to set up a structured interview, in which recruiters use standardized behavior-based questions to determine how candidates handled previous situations or theoretical ones. This allows you to score individual candidates based on how well they respond, which is more successful in predicting the candidate’s future behavior than using unstructured models.

This does mean using a competency framework to identify role-based competencies for the position you’re hiring for, but improves the accuracy of hires for both current and future roles. Creating a competency framework normally involves reviewing existing employees to identify which factors make them successful in a role – including their behavior, decisions, and actions – alongside technical skills and knowledge.

Improving Candidate Feedback

Identifying and using competency frameworks allows you to create and offer clear and rational responses when refusing candidates. This works to improve the overall hiring process by giving candidates something for their time while helping recruiters to better define what they are looking for based on clear reasons specific candidates are not suited for the position.

Reduced Turnover

Hiring employees whose behavior does not fit into a specific role often results in high levels of turnover. For example, hiring an experienced person with the right technical skills for a role does not make them competent or happy in that role if they are traditional and prefer to move slowly while the role requires a fast-paced and fast-adapting candidate. By identifying the specific behavior competencies that help candidates to excel in a role, you can improve job satisfaction as well as performance.

Reduce Costs

Looking for specific behavior parameters on top of technical skill and knowledge improves the effectiveness and efficiency of candidate selection – therefore reducing total costs. Competency-based recruitment is results oriented and measurable, allowing you to create a direct return on value in the recruitment process.

Competency frameworks give recruiters a framework of what success looks like in a role, allowing them to map candidates to behavior rather than looking for a generic profile. This, in turn, speeds up the recruitment process, allows better personality and behavior matching, and increases the chances of a good fit.


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5 Tips to Craft Hiring Assessments

This is a guest post by Angela White. Angela is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, she is an expert researcher at ProProfs: a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as Quiz Maker.

Assessments are powerful procedures and tools used by organizations for hiring top talent. Background checks and interviews are “small” components in the overall assessment. Hiring assessments go beyond these methods. To attract the market’s finest and top talent, you should craft hiring assessments the right way. Ensure that the right elements are included in your valuations.

Every method of assessment comes with unique benefits and drawbacks. In fact, there are “specific” environments for certain types of assessments. This post highlights on how to pull together successful hiring assessments. Let’s discuss.

Tip #1 – Consider Physical and Mental Ability

In general, ability examinations are extremely important for predicting a candidate’s chances of success in the job. The ability tests should be customized to suit the occupation and need. These are important for entry-level roles. Also, they are important when you are not prepared to train the employee.

Mental ability examinations play an integral role in measuring the learning capability of a candidate. The candidate you choose must be able to perform all job-related responsibilities without any flaws or issues. Mental ability tests involve spatial, quantitative and verbal skills. Many companies create a quiz to judge the candidate’s mental abilities. On the other hand, physical ability tests evaluate the candidate’s flexibility and endurance.

Note: Mental ability assessments are treated as authentic and critical predictors of the candidate’s ability to perform. Mental ability test results can have an adverse impact on the employer’s final decision. Various studies reveals that mental ability tests have a strong impact on minority groups. For example, some candidates take more time to solve questions than the experienced. This doesn’t mean the candidate is not skilled. It is important for hiring teams to design mental ability tests that are unbiased and appropriate for the job. If the role needs speed, test the candidate with respect to speed.

Tip #2 – Test for Achievement

Hiring assessments around achievements are known as “Proficiency Examinations”.

Many industries use proficiency tests to evaluate the candidate’s current skill and knowledge. The employee focuses only on “areas” that are relevant to the job profile. These tests can be categorized into two types: Performance tests and knowledge tests.

When you craft performance tests, allow the candidate to demonstrate at least two job-oriented tasks. This could be anything like diagnosing a problem, debugging code or fixing a broken machine. This is an expensive test that may need additional resources.

Knowledge tests involve questions that are carefully chosen. It understands how much a candidate knows about the responsibilities and tasks involved. Knowledge tests are treated as traditional components in the hiring assessments. In most companies, knowledge tests are executed on paper-and-pencil. In fact, some companies hire third party agents to create a quiz on the candidate’s knowledge and skill-level achievements.

Note: The paper-and-pencil method is becoming obsolete. Many tech giants are using computers for hosting knowledge tests. This creates a calm and composed environment for the candidate. The candidate’s only focus would be the problem. This is considered as a smart way of executing knowledge tests.

Tip #3 – Group Assessments

You don’t need to stick to “one-to-one” assessments all the time. If your ultimate aim is to hire the market’s top talent, you should bring them under a single roof. This is when group assessments become useful.

During these assessments, you should prepare a common questionnaire or create a quiz. The questions should be highly job relevant. You must not waste the time of the company or the candidates. The questions should not focus on the candidate’s hobbies, schooling or job experiences. Instead, it must be 100% job oriented.

For example, if you are hiring for a designer role, ensure that the candidates are asked about design. Ideally, they should be asked to design. Then, evaluate the performance of each candidate to identify the best and fastest.

Note: During group assessments, you should take “time” into consideration. The fastest and finest candidate will be your best pick.

Tip #4 – Do Alias Interviews

Employment rounds alias interviews are common during the hiring process. In fact, this is an overused assessment method.

Employment interviews can be unstructured and absolutely unplanned. And, you may end up bagging top talent. Doesn’t this sound boring? Gone are the days when interviews were planned and carefully structured. Structured interviews have trained professionals, standard questions, timed tests and a fixed evaluation strategy. On the other hand, unstructured interviews are hosted by professionals in the job, random questions are chosen, and the interviewee may get unlimited time bounds.

It is easier to find top talent through unstructured interviews.

A recent study revealed that IT companies rely on unstructured interviews over the planned ones. Most of the time, the interviewer is advised to ask job-oriented questions. The interviewer has the freedom to probe the candidate for all job-related responsibilities and tasks.

Note: Unstructured interviews are not absolutely off-road. There are regulations and laws to govern how unstructured the interview gets. For instance, the Disabilities Act prevents interviewers from asking details about disabilities and medical conditions. The interviewer should abide by all these laws during unstructured and structured interviews.

Tip #5 – Personality Check

Any interview will be incomplete without thorough personality checks.

As suggested by its name, personality check involves analyzing the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and knowledge based on their personalized traits. Personality inventories are becoming famous in tech firms. Many interviewers analyze the candidate based on their conscientiousness, self-esteem, motivation and future goals.

Note: All hiring assessments should be backed by a personality test. Personality tests will help you make accurate predictions about the candidate.

The Bottom Line

On the whole, hiring assessments should be performed in controlled and planned environments. Even your unstructured interviews should be carried out in a perfect environment! Crafting the right hiring assessments is never easy. And, if you want to attract the industry’s best candidates, your assessments should be strategically organized.

One of the best ways to appeal and attract top talent is by hosting group events. Try to organize group discussions, group interviews, and open competitions. Make your assessments as reasonable as possible. After all, top talents evaluate assessments before giving it a try.


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Job Analysis: Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description

Join is from February 22 to 23 for a job analysis public seminar on Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description.

This course orients the participants on how to perform job analysis, with the end goal of crafting a competency-based job description. It follows a workshop style where participants will be conducting job interviews and eventually, writing the corresponding competency-based job descriptions.

Participants will learn to apply the basic principles of job analysis and job description, prepare comprehensive job analysis interviews, and write competency-based job descriptions based on thorough job analysis.

Register Now

Course Outline

  • Overview of Job Analysis
  • Uses of Job Analysis
  • Scope of Job Analysis
  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Guidelines for Doing Job Analysis
  • Conducting Job Analysis Interviews
  • Writing Competency-Based Job Descriptions
  • Contents of Job Descriptions
  • Knowing the Core, Technical and Leadership Competencies
  • The Language and format of Job Descriptions

The investment fee for this course is P7,000 plus VAT.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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Public Seminar: Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description

Join us on February 22 to 23 as we discuss Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description. This 2-day course goes over how to perform job analysis, with the end goal of crafting a competency-based job description. It follows a workshop style where participants will be conducting job interviews and eventually, writing the corresponding competency-based job descriptions.

Register Now

Participants will apply basic principles of job analysis and job descriptions, prepare comprehensive job analysis interviews, and write competency-based job descriptions based on thorough job analysis.

Course Outline

  • Conducting Job Analysis
  • Overview of Job Analysis
  • Uses of Job Analysis
  • Scope of Job Analysis
  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Guidelines for Doing Job Analysis
  • Conducting Job Analysis Interviews
  • Writing Competency-Based Job Descriptions
  • Contents of Job Descriptions
  • Knowing the Core, Technical and Leadership Competencies
  • The Language and format of Job Descriptions

The investment for this course is P7,000 plus VAT and includes all course materials.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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