Recruitment Strategies for Finding Candidates with Strong Communications Skills

image_20No matter which industry your organization is in, communications skills are critical to success. According to a survey of 600 employers in the tech industry, communications skills were the most important factor in hiring [1]. Every interaction with a potential customer can be made or broken by the quality of communications skills offered by your employees. When recruiting candidates, consider these three strategies for assessing and finding each person’s skills at communicating in the workplace.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing is a good recruitment strategy for finding people who have strong vocabularies and written communications skills. As a part of an application to work in your organization, you can include a series of questions that require a written response. These could be solutions to a problem commonly faced by your organization or a subjective, situational question about how to handle an issue with a client. These answers will give you an idea of how the candidate communicates in written form.

Group Interviews

Group interviews are an excellent recruitment strategy for determining a candidate’s communication skills. During a group interview session, you can evaluate the candidate’s vocabulary. Consider whether the person directly answers the questions you ask or beats around the bush. You may also consider the tone of replies, such as whether the candidate is too casual or colorful in his or her responses, or whether he or she is too technical for the audience. Group interviews are also a good way to get a read on a candidate’s body language. Straight posture, regular eye contact and appropriate distance and dress are all important forms of communication in the workplace.

Reviewing Past Experience and Checking References

When your organization posts a job opening, you will receive dozens or perhaps hundreds of applications. Check out those cover letters and resumes for signs of communications skills. Poor grammar or excessive use of jargon suggests that a person has poor communication skills. When you find an applicant you are interested in, call his or her references and focus on different types of communications skills, such as oral presentations and written reports.