Looking for an Applicant with Great Soft Skills? Ask Their Co-Workers

Study of 20,000 job references finds managers tout experience, not interpersonal skills

New research suggests that co-workers tend to emphasize interpersonal behaviors, like being helpful or compassionate, when providing references for job candidates, as opposed to managers, who are more likely to focus on experiences or completed tasks.

SkillSurvey, a cloud-based reference checking, sourcing and credentialing firm in Berwyn, Pa., analyzed references from 10,000 managers and 10,000 co-workers for 5,000 job candidates.

Soft skills are the attributes that enable someone to effectively interact with others—like relationship-building, good communication and adaptability—and are a major part of the mix of traits that makes a great teammate.

"While managers may be able to speak to a candidate's abilities, a co-worker may provide more insights about a candidate's office presence and effectiveness as a teammate, which has the potential to impact customer service, company culture and organizational success," said Ray Bixler, SkillSurvey's CEO and president. "These results really drive home the importance of a holistic reference check, where feedback from both former co-workers and managers is taken into consideration." FULL ARTICLE

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