Over the last two years, employers operating in a broad range of industries have had to contend with widespread attrition known as The Great Resignation. During this historical exodus, millions of employees have left their jobs searching for better opportunities.
While money certainly played a factor in some of these professionals’ decisions to resign, other concerns were likely to blame. Many professionals ventured out into the job market to find better working conditions and improve their well-being.
In light of this, employers must adjust their course if they want to fill important vacancies and improve retention rates. Specifically, employers need to emphasize screening candidates for soft skills to create a positive workplace culture.
Below, we explore which soft skills employers should focus on when hiring new staff. We also reveal how they can accurately screen for these skills to improve employee well-being.
Why Soft Skills Are So Important
It is all too easy for employers to become fixated on gauging candidates’ job-specific abilities and talents when hiring. These talents, known as hard skills, will directly impact an applicant’s ability to fulfill their job responsibilities. However, hard skills alone do not guarantee that an individual will be successful.
Talented candidates who lack the requisite soft skills will be less effective at leveraging their job-specific abilities. Perhaps more importantly, applicants deficient in soft skills could negatively impact the employee well-being of their coworkers. This impact is a real possibility because poor communication skills, an unwillingness to collaborate, and other shortcomings can create friction in the workplace.
Why Employee Well-Being Must Be a Top Priority for Employers
Modern employees emphasize their well-being, mental health, and work/life balance more than previous generations of workers. While there is no question that high pay and a good benefits package can attract quality employees, businesses should prioritize improving employee well-being.
There are many different ways to accomplish this. Employers should offer hybrid or remote work opportunities when possible. Additionally, they should improve their screening protocols to help them hire candidates that share company values and beliefs.
Better hiring practices will yield a higher quality work environment for all. Employers should also give staff members opportunities to grow and advance within the company, as this can help with talent retention.
These suggestions are not merely speculative. Numerous studies and surveys support them, including recent research from the Pew Research Center, whose 2022 survey focused on adult workers in the U.S. who voluntarily left their jobs in the previous year.
Researchers asked respondents what factors prompted them to resign. They also asked participants to classify each issue as a major or minor reason. Unsurprisingly, 37% of respondents listed pay as a major reason, while 26% considered it minor.
What was surprising was the second and third-place responses. A staggering 33% of respondents listed “no opportunities for advancement” as a major reason they resigned. Another 30% cited this issue as a minor reason.
Approximately 35% of participants stated that feeling disrespected at work was one of the primary reasons they left their job. 21% considered this a minor contributing factor.
These figures tell us that employee well-being matters. Employees who feel respected and receive advancement opportunities are far less likely to leave their jobs than those that do not get these benefits.
What Soft Skills Should Employers Screen for?
As you can see, screening new hires for important soft skills can directly impact employee well-being. Making efforts to enhance the latter will help you retain top talent, minimize turnover, and improve productivity. However, before you can effectively vet candidates, you must determine which soft skills you want to screen for.
The soft skills you should look for will vary depending on your organization’s needs. Most employers would benefit from hiring employees that possess soft skills like:
- Attention to detail
- Emotional intelligence
- Email etiquette
The abilities mentioned above are just a few soft skills you should consider screening for. So, how exactly can you find candidates who have these qualities? You can accomplish this by administering skills tests.
The Role of Skills Testing in Optimizing Employee Well-Being
With skills tests, you can accurately measure each applicant’s soft skills.
These are just a few examples of the various skills tests that you can leverage to gauge soft skills and improve employee well-being in the workplace. You can even create or use tests for a mix of hard and soft skills to truly refine your search.
Do you want to learn more about how to use soft skills tests to improve employee well-being? Contact eSkill to request a demo.