9 Soft Skills That Will Make You a Better Hiring Manager

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As a hiring manager, keeping up with the influx of new software and candidate expectations can feel challenging. A global talent study showed that time-to-hire rates in the first quarter of 2023 had risen to an all-time high of 44 days.

To combat these challenges, many hiring managers are focusing on their hard skills, like new strategies and technologies. But hard skills shouldn’t be the only concern.

By building specific behavioral soft skills, hiring teams can become more effective without investing in expensive solutions. Keep reading to learn about the soft skills that will allow you to be a more successful hiring manager in 2024.

Why Hiring Managers Need Strategic Soft Skills

As LinkedIn’s CEO, Ryan Roslansky, stated, “Even if you aren’t changing your job, your job is most likely changing.”

In the past decade, the role of hiring managers has changed drastically. Gone are the days of paper resumes and required in-person interviews. Today, teams use digital recruitment tools, support virtual and hybrid workflows, and focus more on the overall candidate experience. These changes require more than just adopting software or workflows; they require soft skills to help hiring managers succeed.

According to a Global LinkedIn report, soft skills such as communication, relationship building, adaptability, problem-solving, and business acumen are the most beneficial for recruiters.

Keeping those in mind, how can recruiters take those broad soft skills and apply them to modern-day hiring practices? Three of the biggest hurdles hiring managers face today are:

  • Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI): How to navigate generative AI and use it to streamline hiring practices.
  • Flexible Hiring: How to support hybrid or virtual workflows, leverage augmented staffing solutions, and embrace new trends like upskilling and skills-first hiring.
  • Diverse Hiring: How to cultivate a culture of inclusion that embraces multigenerational, diverse candidates and creates equitable hiring opportunities.

Let’s look at the soft skills that hiring managers can learn to help navigate these hurdles.

Soft Skills to Help Hiring Managers Embrace AI

With the introduction of generative AI and tools like Chat GPT, hiring managers need to find ways to embrace this new technology and leverage it to their advantage. With nearly 99% of Fortune 500 companies incorporating AI into their practices and 65% of recruiters claiming to use AI in some hiring practices, it’s helpful to master soft skills that support AI. Those can include:

  1. Tech Curiosity and Adaptability: Showing a genuine curiosity about emerging technologies is a helpful soft skill because it allows hiring managers to be at the forefront of innovation. Be open to trying out new technologies and embracing them into your workflows. This will enhance your effectiveness as a hiring manager.
  2. Data Interpretation Skills: How much data you collect is important, but so is how you interpret that data and then use it to implement changes. These skills will help as more hiring teams leverage AI and other data collection tools throughout the recruitment process.
  3. AI Emotional Intelligence: AI is a powerful tool, but it’s important to navigate the emotional impact AI can have on the candidate experience. Be proactive by addressing concerns and inserting a human touch wherever possible.

Soft Skills to Navigate Flexible Hiring Trends

Hiring managers need to be more adaptable than ever to accommodate the increasing level of workplace flexibility prevalent in a post-pandemic workplace. Some soft skills that can help hiring managers navigate new workflows and hiring processes include:

  1. Agile Decision-Making: Agile is a project management framework built around continuous collaboration and improvement. Hiring managers can apply an Agile approach to flexible hiring by continuously assessing and improving hiring practices to optimize them for flexibility.
  2. Remote Management Skills: With more teams operating in remote or hybrid environments, it’s helpful for hiring managers to have strong remote collaboration skills. They should feel comfortable managing remote teams, leveraging digital collaboration tools, and developing strategies to build connections with candidates across diverse locations.
  3. Virtual Interpersonal Skills: Video interview etiquette can vary from in-person interviews. Strong virtual interpersonal skills can help with a successful interview. This could include finding ways to convey active listening, empathy, and a positive presence when conducting virtual interviews.

Soft Skills for Diverse Hiring

DEIB initiatives are helping organizations foster more inclusive, diverse workforces. Soft skills will improve your diverse hiring process. Some soft skills hiring managers can learn include:

  1. Inclusive Communication: This means being intentional about inclusive communication in both in-person and virtual settings to ensure all needs are met, everyone has a voice, and the candidate feels connected. It also means developing skills to recognize and mitigate biases in hiring processes, resulting in a more fair and equitable treatment of all candidates.
  2. Adaptive Mentoring: Hiring managers want to set up their new hires for success. Adaptive mentorship is a soft skill that recognizes individual backgrounds and uses these observations to tailor guidance and support.
  3. Cultural Competence: Hiring managers should work to build their cultural competency soft skills. Cultural competence means understanding and appreciating the values and perspectives of diverse candidates.

Soft Skills Can Make a Hard Difference

As the workplace continue to harness new technologies and big data, the ways we recruit will likely continue to change. Taking time to invest in future-proof soft skills can help hiring managers navigate the future of hiring.

Are you looking for a hiring partner? Insight Global can help. Contact us today!