Dayna Stewart’s ‘sweet’ method of identifying top digital talent.

When you’re working in the digital and technical spaces, it isn’t always about ones and zeros, bits and bytes or coding C#, Python and PHP. The final output of these industries may lean on the hard technical skills of talented digital specialist developers, but soft skills are just as crucial.

The ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. The ability to collaborate and work in teams. Observe challenges critically and resolve problems. Mentor juniors, resolve conflicts and adapt to ever-changing strategic and business situations. These soft skills are a must to the success of any candidate and organisation.

If you’re looking at a possible candidate, the ultimate question boils back to this — are their skills based on being a people person? If you’re not sure, Dayna Stewart’s methodology of assessing a real people person and their cultural fit is below.

Research the company and detect synergy

After you’ve been briefed on a role and you’re confident there’s a match between the company’s core skill requirements and the candidate’s, take the time to truly understand the company’s culture. By gleaning a company’s soft skill requirements, assessing their management style/team culture you’ll be able to more confidently make a match between your candidate and the company — at a human level.

What you’re really trying to do is find a soft skill synergy between the client’s requirements and the candidate. Even checking if there’s an alignment between your candidate’s outside-of-work interests and the company’s will help immensely.

Talk to the candidate…and test them.

Call the candidate on the phone. Soft skills really come through a person’s voice. A simple chat will give you a strong sense of the candidate’s personality, their ability to communicate and sell their skills by voice alone. You’ll also pick up on their ability to stay engaged in the conversation and their level of confidence.

When you want to take it to the next level, set the candidate a small task to test their responsiveness, drive, attention to detail and if they follow through on promises. How and when they follow through is a good insight into who the candidate really is — and if they’re right for any given role.

If you’ve got a good vibe about the candidate, it’s time to match the required hard skill set with the required soft skills to develop your shortlist for face-to-face interviews.

Stability and reliability

Another consideration to make is the candidate’s stability in previous roles. A candidate who’s been stable in a role for a long time could mean higher levels of reliability. Simultaneously, it may mean lack of ambition. When you talk to the candidate, eliciting their motivations for moving from company to company (or not) and what their short and long term goals are, will give you a stronger idea if they’re fit for a role.

Knowing the candidate’s goals can help you assess whether or not your clients can help the candidate on their desired career path and also aid in the company’s retention rate.

Don’t be shy here. Dig deep. Elicit those soft skill capabilities by asking the candidate to discuss examples. Get them to talk about processes, strategies, campaign development and analysis. Gathering more qualitative information from the candidate will ultimately be helpful to your client, to the candidate and to you.

Soft skills are an art

Detecting and assessing whether or not a candidate has the appropriate soft skills is a soft skill in itself. If you’re looking for advice or someone to help you find the right person with the magic touch, look no further than Dayna Stewart.

She’s a soft skill artist who’s been placing soft skilled talent for the past 17 years. She can’t wait to speak with you and buy you a coffee. 🙂

Recruitment isn’t a hard art, it’s a soft one that reaps the greatest results when staying malleable, flexible and open to new ideas. But if you feel we’ve missed something, we’re all ears.

Let us know in the comments section below. Talk soon!

About the Consultant – Dayna Stewart

With over 17 years at the bleeding edge of digital and data recruitment, Dayna is on every astute manager’s speed dial.

Dayna is highly regarded as an ethical consultant who builds strong partnerships to deliver outstanding, timely services to clients and candidates.

She has extensive experience in both industrial and commercial sectors, and works with professional clientele to provide the most up-to-date recruitment information available in today’s competitive digital market.

Dayna’s key areas of specialisation are

  • Digital Media,
  • Digital Marketing,
  • Search, Data & Analytics,
  • Digital Advertising, and Sales.


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