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If the past three years has taught us anything about the future of work, it’s that soft skills must be reframed as a worker’s foundation to ensure they remain adaptable amidst changes in the job market. Certainly, AI is increasingly becoming a threat to many white-collar positions. But it’s also allowing many in HR positions and related industries to recognize what we truly value in human workers. That is, of course, what sets us apart from AI and machines is the possession of soft skills relevant to certain lines of work. And soft skills-based hiring isn’t just beneficial for hiring managers and recruiters.

It’s also useful for empowering job seekers to explore the soft skills they already possess to consider fields of work they might not have previously. After all, if a candidate is well-suited for a specific field of work based on their behaviours and innate work habits, the right kind of training or certification process might be the only thing standing in their way.

So, if anyone who is well-suited for a job can be trained to work in it, why are we still hiring for those with the hard skills but not the soft skills?

Ways to Measure Soft Skills When Hiring

We at Workwolf are big believers in hiring for soft skills. Specifically, when looking to hire a team member, we use our very own psychometric assessment called Packfinder, to determine the potential of a candidate.

Specifically, we determine a candidate’s likelihood to succeed in a given position by using Packfinder to measure where they fall on six soft skill spectra. These include their level of self-management, their motivational profile, their environmental fit, their comfort with conflict, their people orientation, and their analytical orientation.

These, we argue, are all crucial for understanding a worker’s potential and innate abilities across various industries and specific positions. So, in order to get a comprehensive understanding of how well suited a candidate is for a position, we measure where on each of these spectra a candidate falls.

And most importantly, this is both an equitable and empowering approach to hiring, especially in comparison to traditional hiring practices.

This is because we base our filtration processes on personality types and likelihoods to succeed based on behaviours and habits, rather than on qualities that are not equitable to measure for, such as one’s privilege that allows them to attend an Ivy League school or have experience working and/or volunteering at a prestigious organization.

These things, after all, are not equally accessible to all, so how would it be fair to only measure for these things when hiring?

Steps to Take for Skills-Based Hiring

Instead of measuring candidates for inequitable hard skills or credentials that are not necessarily all equally accessible, we suggest using skills-based hiring. Here are some steps you can take to start employing this equitable practice instead of traditional and less effective hiring methods.

1. Define Job Requirements and Key Skills

To begin with skills-based hiring, it’s crucial to clearly define the job requirements and identify the key skills needed for success in the role. Take the time to analyze the specific tasks, responsibilities, and outcomes associated with the position. This analysis will help you pinpoint the essential skills and competencies required. It’s also valuable to consult with current employees or industry experts to gain insights into the skills that are most relevant and valuable in the field.

2. Craft Skill-Based Job Descriptions

Once you have identified the key skills, it’s important to incorporate them into your job descriptions. Traditional job postings often focus on qualifications and experience, but for skills-based hiring, emphasize the skills and abilities needed to excel in the role. Clearly outline the specific skills required, such as problem-solving, teamwork, technical expertise, or communication. This approach will attract candidates who are confident in their abilities and allow them to self-assess their fit for the position.

3. Implement Skills Assessments

To evaluate candidates’ skills effectively, integrate skills assessments into your hiring process. Traditional interviews and resumes may not provide a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s capabilities. Skills assessments, on the other hand, offer a practical and objective way to measure skills. Depending on the role, assessments can take various forms, such as coding challenges, case studies, role-playing scenarios, or practical tasks. These assessments should directly align with the skills identified as essential for the position.

4. Conduct Behavioral Interviews

Skills-based hiring also emphasizes behavioral interviews to gain insights into a candidate’s past experiences and their application of relevant skills. These interviews focus on specific scenarios or projects that require the skills needed for the role. By asking behavioral questions that require candidates to provide detailed examples of their skills in action, you can better gauge their proficiency and suitability for the position. Look for candidates who can articulate their approach, problem-solving strategies, and outcomes achieved.

5. Leverage Technology

Incorporating technology into your skills-based hiring process can streamline and enhance the candidate evaluation process. Consider replacing your applicant tracking system (ATS) with the Workwolf platform to better filter and manage candidates based on soft skills measured via Packfinder rather than credentials claimed on resumes. Specifically, by using benchmarks of existing top performers within your organization, you can automatically filter candidates by skill rather than by biased hiring techniques, like by credential or hard skill.


Skill-based—specifically, soft skill-based—hiring is becoming increasingly popular in HR positions and related industries. This is because in addition to shifting demands in the work force, hiring managers and recruiters are further recognizing the prejudices inherently involved when only hiring based on hard skills or credentials like degrees or prestigious work experience.

By focusing on soft-skills when hiring, instead, employers can ensure they are remaining unbiased in their hiring processes and are working towards improving diversity and inclusion in their workplace. As well, they’re encouraging workers to better utilize and explore skills and behaviours that are unique to them, rather than those they are forced to replicate, which they may not do so successfully.

Ready to start hiring based on candidate soft skills and improving hiring practices in your organization? Click here to sign up for a Workwolf business account. Here, you’ll be able to send free Packfinder assessments to your candidates and start automatically filtering candidates equitably and automatically.

Talk about a win-win situation!


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