Why Employers Should Be Good At Detecting Soft Skills


If you were asking me what big mistakes most employers/recruiters make in their hiring process, costing them a lot of frustration and disappointments, this would be the number ONE:

Putting too much attention on hard skills and not enough on soft ones.

The vast majority of employers don’t seem to get it or worse, tend to resist this fact: When it comes to “predict” if a candidate will be successful on the job, soft skills always prevail on hard ones!

In a three-year study conducted by Leadership IQ, 5,247 hiring managers from 312 public, private, business and healthcare organizations were examined. Collectively, these managers hired more than 20,000 employees during the study period. The study focused on why new hires fail at such alarming rates which is certainly a growing trend: (1)

  • 46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months.
  • 30% of them fail because they can’t accept feedback.
  • 22% of them fail because they are unable to understand and manage emotions.
  • 20% of them fail because they lack the necessary motivation to excel.
  • 17% of them fail because they have the wrong temperament for the job.
  • 11% ONLY of them fail because they are lacking the necessary technical/hard skills.

During the study, 812 managers experienced significantly more hiring success than their peers (that is about 15% of all surveyed hiring managers). What differentiated their interviewing approach was their emphasis on interpersonal and motivational issues. In other words, they were focusing their evaluation methodologies on the detection of specific soft skills, needed to ensure success on a particular position.


I always provide the following statement to un-convinced clients: “People get hired for their hard skills and get fired mostly for their lack of soft ones.” And guess what? Nobody has ever disagreed with that fact.

So, why is it that most employers or recruiters in the small business arena tend to neglect that harsh reality about soft skills? The main reasons are probably:

• Hoping that hiring a highly-talented, super-competent employee who has experience in their specific industry, raises the odds of having him/her operational & productive faster on the job – and will thus require less education.

• Fearing that evaluating applicants based on their soft skills might put the employer in potential liability with the EEOC. As a matter of facts, the EEOC does not appreciate the idea that one evaluates applicants on their soft skills, as it considers those as “subjective criteria.” This can lead to discrimination and thus, to legal action.

• Ignoring HOW to evaluate people based on their personality-related characteristics; most business owners have experienced at least once the sad reality that an “ideal applicant” ended up being very different after the three-month trial period. It is not easy to predict future behavior, based on one or two hours interview.

Interestingly, in the corporate world today, the most popular subject related to talent acquisition happens to be… soft skills. Per a recent report by Talent Blog, the most useful interviewing innovation (69%) is assessing soft skills. (2)


The key question is, when it comes to evaluate soft skills, “HOW DO YOU DO IT?” And I could spend a full page to argue that we, at Hirebox International, have the most precise soft skills assessments on the world market. But I will leave it up to you. Try our Hirebox Testing platform for 2 weeks at NO cost – with unlimited number of tests – and see the results!

Go to www.hirebox.com and subscribe for free – or contact me for a special demonstration of the system!

To your success,

Patrick Valtin,
CEO Hirebox International

(1) Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude – By Mark Murphy, CEO Leadership IQ
(2) Talent Blog, April 2, 2018: “From a Mercedes-Benz to Ferris Wheels: Unusual Interview Settings Are the Latest Recruiting Trend.”


The RECRU-TEC™ Test is a one of a kind pre employment testing technology. It filters each applicant through 20 different soft-skills. The RECRU-TEC™ Test is a perfect Quality Control tool for your hiring missions.

Based on more than 22,000 candidates’ evaluations in 25 different countries, this unique diagnostic tool is a job matching test which provides vital information about your future/potential employee. Give it a try today and see how powerful the RECRU-TEC™ Test is!


The Pre-Selector is a very effective and fast pre-screening assessment, universal to all applicants. Whatever the position, you want to evaluate candidates’ ability AND willingness to contribute to the success & happiness of their team members and of your organization.

This unique pre-screening assessment evaluates every applicant against 6 universal characteristics which have proven to: Make people happier and more enthusiast on a job and contribute to the success & happiness of others in the group.


The JOBSTAR™ Test is a one of a kind employee performance appraisal and job satisfaction assessment.The JOBSTAR™ Test is a perfect Quality Control tool to ensure optimal performance, happiness and engagement from your employees.

This unique diagnostic is an Employee Performance Appraisal Assessment which provides vital information about your current employees’ performance and job satisfaction.


The Selling Skills Assessment helps detect strengths that can be optimized and weaknesses that should be worked on, in order to be more successful as a professional sales representative.

It was developed to help sales reps optimize their full potential, while contributing fully to the expansion of your organization. It measures usually undetected characteristics which have proven to be instrumental to achieve great performance in sales.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Join our mailing list to receive:

- The latest articles 

- Training videos

- Latest podcasts

Don't worry, we won't flood your inbox full of emails!

Thank you for subscribing!