When hiring managers assess candidates, it isn’t uncommon for them to focus on technical capability, past experience, education, and similar credentials. However, if you aren’t screening applicants for various soft skills, you might end up with a new hire that isn’t an ideal fit.

Mindset, personality, and how a candidate thinks can be critical to their future success with an organization, so it’s vital to assess a job seeker’s soft skills in a few areas before making a hiring decision. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a handful of important skills you should look for when screening candidates.


Effective communication is vital for any position. Most successful employees can express themselves clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, allowing them to engage with co-workers, managers, and customers on a variety of platforms with ease. Additionally, they are aware of the impact of nonverbal communication (or body language) and can both control theirs and assess signals being given by others. Plus, they understand listening is a critical component of communication and are considerate when others are speaking.

Critical Thinking

The ability to think logically and analytically is also essential in practically every role. It ensures that the candidate can make sound decisions when the need arises and solve problems that fall within their purview, including without assistance when appropriate.


Very few professionals operate in a complete silo. Instead, they are part of a team, and they have to work well with others if they are going to be highly productive.

Candidates with strong teamwork skills understand the value of working together. Additionally, they are quick to recognize the expertise others may bring to the table, are open to compromise, and are willing to do what is best for the group even if it isn’t ideal for themselves.

Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is something every hiring manager should look for when screening candidates. Individuals who are willing to go the extra mile and persevere during challenging times are typically more productive and more valuable parts of the team. Plus, those with great work ethics tend to be more reliable and punctual, making it easier to count on them.


At times, a bit of creativity is needed in any job. Creative thinkers are often better problem solvers and innovators than their less-creative counterparts, partially because they are adept at examining situations from different angles and aren’t afraid to take the path less traveled. This can make them an asset, both when issues arise that need unique solutions, and when companies want to create solutions that allow them to stay ahead of the competition.

Ultimately, all of the skills above should be sought when you are screening candidates. That way, you can select the job seeker isn’t just a strong fit, but a well-rounded individual who brings a lot to the table.

If you’d like to learn more about effective candidate screening, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with a member of our skilled team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.



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