Published on May 6th, 2023
As recruiters, we often focus on academic qualifications, work experience and technical skills when searching for the ideal candidate for a job opening. But have you ever wondered why some candidates with top-notch qualifications and technical skills fail to perform well on the job? This is where life skills come in. Life skills are essential abilities that enable individuals to navigate challenges and handle interpersonal relationships in everyday life. In this blog post, we will explore what life skills are, their importance in recruitment and how recruiters can identify and evaluate them to make better hiring decisions.
Life skills encompass a broad range of competencies such as problem-solving, decision-making, communication, adaptability, time management, collaboration, emotional intelligence, leadership, and self-awareness. Life skills are not tied to academic degrees or specific professions, instead, they are transferable skills that can be applied in various areas of life. For instance, effective communication skills learned from interpersonal relationships with family or friends can be applied in the workplace to build better relationships with colleagues, clients and stakeholders.
Recruiters should prioritize life skills when evaluating candidates as they are essential in determining how successful a candidate will be in a particular job. Although technical skills may be important initially, they can be learned and improved over time but a lack of life skills can be a long-standing issue. Life skills enable individuals to perform well in team environments, take constructive feedback, work under pressure, make sound judgments, lead others and navigate change. These skills are critical in today's work environment where employees are required to be adaptable, collaborative and innovative.
There are various ways in which recruiters can identify and evaluate life skills. One way is to use behavioural interviewing techniques where a candidate is asked to describe a situation where they had to demonstrate a particular life skill. This method helps the recruiter to evaluate the candidate's ability to apply a specific life skill in a practical situation. Another way is to look at the candidate's extracurricular activities such as volunteer work, sports teams or leadership positions. These activities provide an indication of the candidate's ability to work in a team, take initiative and demonstrate leadership skills.
Let's say you are interviewing two candidates for a customer service role and both have good technical skills. However, during the interview, one candidate uses active listening skills, shows empathy towards the customer's problem and provides a solution that meets the customer's needs. The other candidate merely responds to the customer's query without proactively understanding the problem. You would be more likely to choose the first candidate as they demonstrated better communication skills.
Another example is leadership skills. If you are evaluating a candidate for a managerial position, you would look for instances where the candidate demonstrated leadership skills such as leading a team, providing guidance and support to team members, and delegating tasks effectively. These skills are necessary for a candidate to be successful in a managerial position.
In conclusion, life skills are essential abilities that enable individuals to navigate challenges and handle interpersonal relationships in everyday life. They are important in recruitment as they are transferable skills that can be applied in various areas of life, including work. Recruiters must prioritize life skills when evaluating candidates to make better hiring decisions. Identifying and evaluating life skills can be achieved through behavioural interviewing techniques, extracurricular activities, and assessing the candidate's ability to apply life skills in practical situations. Ultimately, a candidate's life skills can differentiate them from other candidates and enable them to excel in their job roles.
Even hiring managers, recruiters, and talent finders should keep up with the times by adding to their list of tools. Learning new technologies in the ChatGPT and AI eras can be considered as developing new skills. Tools like EasySource are essential for recruiters and hiring managers. EasySource helps you identify qualified prospects for your LinkedIn search by using extra criteria. This amazing solution uses ChatGPT to hyper personalize your candidate outreach via emails, Inmails, and LinkedIn invites. Not to mention that you have access to information like the personal email addresses of candidates. Try your hand at it!
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