The workforce landscape and corresponding search for qualified candidates has shifted a lot over the last few years. Remote work skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic, and has stayed in high demand ever since. As of 2020, 66% of businesses reported instituting the automation of at least one or more of their business functions. Additionally, there is also a growing demand from consumers for companies that exhibit more social responsibility, and a greater interest in the benefits associated with international hiring.
These shifts, along with many others, have ushered in major changes regarding the way businesses operate, and that means that the expectations for qualified applicants has also evolved.
So how do you find qualified candidates in this labor market? There are many things you can do to set yourself up for success when searching for qualified applicants — like using a third party recruitment firm or widening your search internationally. In addition, you should also be searching for candidates that possess the soft skills that are specifically relevant to the modern-day work environment.
The soft skills required for someone working an in-person, customer-facing position are going to be completely different from the soft skills required for a remote, behind-the-scenes administrative job.
Based on the current labor market, the desire for remote work, and taking into consideration the uptick in international hiring, these are the top skills you should look for to help you find qualified candidates:
Communication + Interpersonal Skills
Communication and interpersonal skills are arguably more important than ever when it comes to establishing a capable and efficient workforce. With over 25% of US employees working remotely, it is imperative that your new hires know how to communicate effectively, as well as possess impeccable workplace etiquette.
Keep in mind, however, that communication and interpersonal skills required for remote teams will look a little different from those required for in-person settings. In order to ensure that your new hires will be respectful and communicative team members both in and out of the office, there are a few things you can do.
First, look closely at any email correspondence from them, and make sure their tone is professional yet friendly, and that they are able to convey information adequately through online forums. For insight on their interpersonal skills, it’s always a good idea to ask their references how they got along with former colleagues.
When expanding either your in-person team or remote teams, finding a qualified candidate means finding someone who works well with others. In a workforce where many employees are clocking in from home, and some are even reporting to the office internationally, it’s very important that your new hires know how to be flexible, helpful, and respectful of everyone’s time.
But how do you find qualified candidates who can work as a team?
In addition to asking their references directly, make sure to discuss teamwork specifically in the interview. Try asking candidates about their most successful team projects, and have them provide specifics in regards to how they personally helped lead their team to a positive outcome.
Teamwork really does make the dream work!
It’s estimated that 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration as the primary reason for failures in the workplace. Effective collaboration has also been linked to a rise in both performance and innovation.
While leadership has always been a highly sought after skill in the workforce, the skills required to bring together a modern-day team of diverse people, many of whom are working very far away from each other, are not just important — they’re vital.
There are many benefits associated with remote teams and international hiring, but there are also challenges. Those challenges often include things like scheduling conflicts and communication barriers, and those can lead to important tasks and memos falling through the cracks. Furthermore, research shows that "bad leadership and management" is often cited as an employee’s main reason for leaving a job.
Finding a qualified candidate for leadership positions is therefore critical, but it can be difficult because nearly everyone claims to be a ‘good leader’ on their resume.
To fill higher-level positions, or really any job that requires someone to take charge and keep everyone else on track, you might want to consider utilizing the services of a third-party recruitment firm. Recruiting experts know how to cut through the noise and ask the right questions in interviews, to ensure your new hires are actually part of the 10% of the population that experts agree are truly natural born leaders.
Problem Solving + Adaptability
As many employers learned during the pandemic, problem solving skills and having the ability to adapt to changing circumstances are crucial. Your workforce’s adaptability can truly be the deciding factor in whether or not your company can weather through unexpected challenges.
If you’re wondering how you can find qualified candidates with these skills, consider diversity as one of your top priorities when starting your search. Having a team made up of people from varied and diverse backgrounds not only leads to higher levels of innovation, but it has also been connected to improved problem solving and decision making.
Unfortunately, hiring biases — both conscious and unconscious — can be a major barrier keeping you from diversifying your workforce. If you want to learn more about how recruitment firms like IsoTalent are circumventing hiring biases and opening the doors for global/international hires, check out our services or read some of our case studies here.
Interest and Engagement
Last but not least, we have two of the most important qualities to look for in your new hires. Notice we said "qualities" and not "skills," and that’s because interest and engagement are not necessarily skills, so much as they are aspects of a workplace that require everyone’s involvement. Even the most motivated employees will not stay engaged forever.
Research shows that nearly 90% of Human Resource professionals agree that ongoing feedback and setting clear expectations are needed to increase employee engagement. In other words, if managers and higher-ups are not showing their appreciation or communicating their expectations, employees cannot be expected to stay engaged.
This means that finding one qualified candidate who demonstrates high levels of engagement and interest isn’t enough. Your entire team needs to be exhibiting at least some level of engagement, and doing what they can to keep their colleagues feeling valued.
If you’re reading this and thinking that your workforce as a whole is lacking interest and engagement, don’t worry—it’s not the end of the world. You just might need to search for a few more new hires than you originally planned, and IsoTalent can help with that.
Whether you’re looking to bring in a new executive and address the lack of engagement from the top-down, or just looking to boost morale amongst low-level employees by making sure nobody is overworked, we’ve got you covered. Our recruitment experts won’t stop looking until we find you the most qualified applicant—someone who possesses all of the above skills and more.
Schedule a discovery call today to learn more about our pricing options, international hiring tools, and all our other top-notch recruiting services.