As part of a series, we will be doing a deep dive into each of the 5 domains — or critical soft skills for early career professionals — tested in the Vendition Success Aptitude Test (VSAT). As a reminder, each of these domains encompasses several sub-skills, called “facets,” which we will also touch on in these blogs.
This article is about social engagement, the second of the 5 domains and a soft skill critical to the success of your entry-level employees. Let’s dive in!
What is social engagement?
As the name suggests, social engagement refers to an individual’s capacity to thrive in community with others. In the workplace, social engagement is the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with team members as well as with current customers and prospective clients.
There are three facets under the Vendition social engagement umbrella:
- Conversational Ability: Effectively conveying information verbally, as well as listening to and understanding others
- Leadership Skill: Asserting one’s views and speaking in a group
- Persuasive Skill: Presenting arguments effectively
Why social engagement matters
“How well do you work in a team?” “How do you best receive feedback?” “What’s your collaboration style?” “Tell me about a time when you exhibited leadership ability.”
If any of these sound like an interview question you’ve asked before, then you probably understand why social engagement matters in the workplace.
Chances are, you’re not onboarding new hires in a vacuum. Instead, you’re expecting them to fully integrate into not only their specific team, but also the broader company organizational structure. To do so, new employees need to be able to communicate effectively and collaborate well. They need to be able to convey information to and receive feedback from you and their other team members. As they get more comfortable and take on more responsibilities, they’ll likely need to exhibit some leadership skills in order to move projects forward. And these examples only speak to internal communication.
On a customer-facing level, social engagement is critical to the success of any organization. You want to hire people who are personable and can develop and maintain positive rapport with your current and potential clients. Salespeople especially need to have strong conversational ability and persuasive skill — after all, they are there to convince others to buy your company’s solution!
How to assess social engagement in a candidate
Ready to prioritize social engagement in your hiring criteria? There are a couple of ways you might assess it.
If your company takes resumes into heavy consideration, look for experience working in a team. Remember that this may present differently for different candidates; while one person may have worked in a sales organization before, another may have developed the same skills playing collegiate sports or working in the hospitality industry.
Additionally, any interaction with the candidate is a great opportunity to assess social engagement. How conversational are they during the phone screening? Do they typically respond with one word answers, or are they more thorough? Do they make an effort to build rapport with you and other members of the hiring committee (i.e., asking about your day) or are they rigid and straight to business? Oftentimes, a candidate’s demeanor during the interview process tells you a great deal about their social engagement skills.
Lastly, ask questions that speak directly to the subskills related to social engagement. When trying to gauge conversational ability, you may ask them to communicate with you as though you were a new prospect. For leadership, ask about their long-term career goals and listen for a desire to reach a leadership position. To get a sense of a candidate’s persuasiveness, consider asking questions like “why should we hire you for this role?” If they can sell themselves and their potential to you, then they can likely sell your product to a prospect.
How Vendition helps
Your time is valuable, and finding the right candidate based on soft skills and experience can require more of your day than you have available. That’s why we created the Vendition Success Aptitude Test, a soft-skills assessment that gives you the full story on entry level talent before the interview process even begins.
Are you ready to prioritize soft skills in your hiring process? We can help. Fill out the form below to get started!
Want to save time in the interviewing process? Get pre-vetted, hand-selected candidates from Vendition for your next sales hire. Contact us today to learn more.