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Tips to hire people with baseline communications skills

Baseline communication skills include listening, understanding and speaking effectively. Secondary skills will include reading, writing and interpersonal communication. These skills have always been an integral part of human society. The advent of certain technology and developments in popular cultures have, however, magnanimously affected these skills – and shifted the line for what is ‘culturally acceptable’. This has a downturn for business and needs to be proactively addressed.

If the staff that a business hires has limited capacity to understand particular communications, then a problem might arise with execution of duties. Failure to understand may in fact arise from an inability to listen properly. Listening will certainly help one become aware of what others are thinking, and enable more sensitive or accurate implementation of designated tasks.

Once one listens well, understanding the message and realising what is required of one is much simpler. Following this, an employee may be able to respond to a directive from a superior or a request from a customer adequately. Therefore, employees should possess baseline communication abilities when they are employed and the human resources department can ensure that this happens by following a few basic steps.

Heather R. Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended, writes for that creating training programmes and internships to cultivate talent can help provide reliable team members who are ‘important not only to company culture but also to financial resources.’ With internal programs in place, the business will easily identify the specific skills needed.

Huhman says the next stage is to identify the necessary skills for a position. The role must be assessed to find out why it is needed; how it affects the business and which department it concerns. The specification is designed to clearly describe the ideal candidate, which will then be used to prepare and post the eventual job listing. This can also be used to clearly identify the particular abilities to look for.

A third step is to then refer to the candidate’s social media profile. An assessment of the language used and the ideas which are of interest to the candidate, will usually offer more valuable insight into the type of person the business is looking to hire. Particular social media websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn can provide an excellent picture of the personal and professional aspects of a candidate.

She also suggests the use of tests to evaluate soft and hard skills. Such tests will determine if the candidate can use the skills attested to in a curriculum vitae and also help indicate whether to proceed to interview or not.

Lastly, comes the interview stage. Here the interviewers can analyse the interpersonal interactions of candidates in addition to language use and body language. Following this a more incisive assessment of the candidate’s communication skills can be achieved.

Hiring the best staff and creating a winning team is by no means an easy task. But it will pay off tremendously in terms of business reputation and growth. Avoid baseline communication pitfalls that have been costly for many would-be great businesses, by carefully looking at the tips in this article.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).