3 Ways Technology Can Help Recruiters Assess Candidate Soft Skills

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According to a Deloitte report, talent acquisition (TA) teams that use AI, predictive data analytics and other advanced technology tools are more successful than those that don’t.

Despite this fact, the adoption of new technologies tends to proceed at a slower pace in recruiting relative to other aspects of a business. While technology can make outreach more efficient, decrease time to hire, and improve quality of hire, many recruiters and TA pros are hesitant about new advances and innovations in the field.

One major fear shared by many recruiters and TA pros is that bringing machines into the hiring process could inhibit their ability to assess candidates’ soft skills. Given how critical soft skills are to a new hire’s success, it is understandable why recruiters are concerned

Soft skills are of vital importance in any role, but especially in sales. Recruiters and TA pros tasked with hiring sales talent know they must look in the job market for candidates with emotional agility. That’s because people with emotional agility are proven top performers, thanks to their ability to assess situations, keep their cool, and remain confident in challenging scenarios.

While some sales recruiters may worry that new technology will make it harder to hire for emotional agility, the reality is recruitment tech innovations can actually make it easier to assess candidates’ soft skills.

Here is how recruiters can use tech to find the most emotionally agile candidates:

1. Immerse Candidates in Real-Life Sales Scenarios

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia uses augmented reality  (AR) to test candidates’ decision-making skills. In virtual environments, candidates tackle simulated projects, giving the company a glimpse at how well each prospect handles the kind of work they would be required to do.

Some employers are also using AR to run sales candidates through interactive scenarios based on real-world experiences. Not only does this give candidates a glimpse of a typical sales scenario, but it also offers a chance to assess whether or not a candidate has the emotional agility skills they need to excel in the role.

With AR, sales recruiters can see how candidates respond to stressful client scenarios. They can simulate common customer complaints, replicate a customer’s tone, and watch how talent reacts to and recovers from a difficult situation.

2. Test Candidates’ Emotional Control

Candidates with a high level of emotional agility are always attuned to and aware of their own emotions. This allows them to maintain control of themselves and their behaviors in stressful situations.

Counterintuitively, in-person interviews are not great for assessing emotional agility. It can be quite easy for the average sales candidate to read the room, identify the emotions of others, and adjust their behavior accordingly.

Video interviews are another story. In a video interview, a candidate is not in the same room as their interviewers. This makes it harder for the candidate to read the emotions of others, giving recruiters a more realistic understanding of how a candidate recognizes and manages their own emotions during stressful situations.

During a video interview, a recruiter can really put the pressure on by asking the candidate to react to a hypothetical scenario where they must employ empathy. The candidate’s answer will tell the recruiter a lot about their ability to discern between their own emotions and the emotions of others.

3. Assess Candidates’ Emotional Agility in Digital Media

Sales pros have to handle stressful situations both in person and via text message, email, and other digital media. No matter the form of communication, a top sales pro must be aware and in control of their emotions.

Text recruitment tools can help recruiters assess sales candidates’ abilities to stay emotionally agile in digital interactions. The recruiter can ask a candidate questions about specific customer issues and situations. The candidate’s written responses to these questions will show how emotional intelligence guides their thinking and how well they can convey their emotions through a screen.

Karyn Mullins is president of MedReps.com.  Connect with Karyn on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

By Karyn Mullins