THE ABILITY You Should CONSIDER IN RECRUITMENT NOW AND FOR YEARS TO COME

Problem-solving skill

Communication, attention, and analytical thinking are just some of the skills you take into account when evaluating a candidate. But if you want your team to cope with the current context, you need to recruit people with critical problem-solving skills. Over 60% of employers search for problem-solving ability when evaluating candidates. How to identify this skill, and what questions help you know if you have met candidates with this skill, you will find out in the following.

People with the ability to solve problems are in high demand now. Employers value this critical skill as evidence of success at work and in business. According to NACE’s “Job Outlook 2023 Report”, more than 60% of employers are searching for people who can solve problems. Problem-solving is a skill that gives you confidence that people can take on leadership roles.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY

Problem-solving is the process of identifying situations that can have negative consequences on the business, analyzing their cause and associated data, initiating a brainstorming of ideas, and evaluating solutions. Problem-solving requires research and hypothesis testing before results emerge.

This skill is transferable, meaning it gives you flexibility in recruiting. You can attract people who have worked in other fields, but who were oriented towards identifying situations that can affect the business and got involved to solve these situations, bringing results to the business.

 

TYPES OF PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLs TO SEARCH FOR IN RECRUITMENT

Some skills can indicate a strong problem-solving ability. You should assess candidates for each of these skills during the recruitment process to ensure that a candidate can handle complex and unexpected situations.

 

Listening skills

A problem cannot be solved without a complete understanding of its origin and the underlying factors of the predicament. People with good listening skills pay special attention to discussions with customers or colleagues, evaluating and using what they get to find an appropriate solution to the problem.

 

Analytical thinking skills

Analytical thinking is important in diagnosing and finding a solution to a problem. Analytical thinkers can determine why the problem occurred and the impacts it might have, both now and in the long term. They consider all possible options, evaluate them, and determine the most practical and cost-effective course of action.

 

Creative thinking

Creatives bring innovative solutions to everyday problems as well as highly complex ones. The ability to think out of the box and approach a problem from a new angle or perspective is essential in devising appropriate solutions to the problem encountered.

As Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – we need innovative approaches.

 

Communication skills

Problem solvers also need strong communication skills. When working in a team, they must be able to convey their ideas succinctly. They must also be able to propose and defend their ideas, as well as be open to feedback from others and adapt their approach accordingly.

 

Decision-making skills

A key part of problem-solving is decision-making—for example, deciding which solution, among many possible actions, is the right one. A problem solver must be able to critically evaluate and identify the advantages and risks of their ideas as well as those of others. They must also perform this analysis quickly and conclude the direction to go.

 

Creating a team

Problem solvers can build strong and resilient teams. They can recognize the strengths of others and know that a successful team is made up of diverse people who together can effectively solve problems.

 

Time management

Time management is another skill of people who can solve problems effectively. People who organize their time well can work under pressure and deadlines. They need to make the most of the time they have and determine the best solution to a problem.

 

HOW DO YOU EVALUATE YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY AT THE INTERVIEW

The interview is an excellent opportunity to assess a candidate’s problem-solving ability by asking some specific questions. These questions should be related to the candidate’s previous experience, either at work or during studies.

 

Describe a situation where you had to solve a problem. How did you proceed?

You want to hire people who get things done and, when faced with a problem. There are three steps to solving a problem:

Identification of the problem
Analysis of solutions
Their implementation
A good answer should show that the person you are planning to hire took initiative, was willing to ask questions, and worked as a team.

 

Tell about a situation where you saw an opportunity in a potential problem. What did you do? What was the result?

This question tests the ability to see opportunities in problems. Every business has problems, both minor and major, and the candidate should prove that she can identify and solve them. Problems are opportunities for improvement, both for a person and for a company.

 

What steps do you take before deciding how to solve a problem?

The candidate should have a formal thought process rather than becoming overwhelmed and acting rashly. You should look for those who act meaningfully and who show that they can work well both individually and in a team.

 

Tell us about a time when you realized a colleague had made a mistake. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?

This question tests interpersonal skills. The candidate should show that they have been diplomatic and constructive, helping their colleagues to solve problems and not just pointing them out.

 

Describe the biggest work-related problem you’ve faced so far.

This question tests how people approach big problems. It reveals three things about a candidate:

  • What he is willing to share about a previous employer.
  • What he considers to be a big problem
  • How he solves problems. He has a positive, solution-oriented attitude or is overwhelmed by stress.

 

Describe a situation where you took a different approach to problem-solving. What steps did you follow?

This question tests your creative problem-solving skills. Someone who takes initiative and thinks differently can help the business evolve and differentiate itself from the competition. You don’t want an office full of like-minded people, after all, new ideas are what change the world.

 

Describe a weakness you had to overcome to become successful at work

The question tests self-awareness and dedication. Self-awareness is essential to growth and becoming a better employee. People who develop their skills or hone their talents are right for your team.

 

EXERCISE: HOW TO ANALYZE TWO CANDIDATES BASED ON PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY

Define the problem. It should be relevant to the role and scope, but not too specific or too vague. The problem should also be challenging enough to require creativity, logic, and analysis, but not too hard or too easy to solve. You can use a business scenario or a hypothetical situation.

Design the task you will give the candidates to solve the problem. The task should be clear, and concise and should have a specific objective and criteria for success. You should also estimate how long the task will take to complete and prepare some follow-up questions or options to probe the candidates’ thought processes more deeply.

Conduct the interview. Observe how candidates perform the task. You should pay attention to how they approach problems, how they communicate their ideas, how they handle feedback, and how they deal with uncertainty or ambiguity. Write down your observations.

Evaluating results and comparing candidates based on their problem-solving performance. You should choose candidates with problem-solving skills, such as defining the problem, gathering information, analyzing options, choosing a solution, implementing a plan, and evaluating the outcome. You should also consider the quality, efficiency, and creativity of their solutions, as well as their ability to justify and explain their choices. You should rank candidates based on how well they met the objective and criteria of the assignment and how they demonstrated their problem-solving skills.

 

CHOOSE A RECRUITING TEAM THAT CAN EVALUATE CANDIDATES ON THEIR PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY!

The BIA Human Capital Solutions team has over 30 years of experience in recruitment and can offer you business support. We want you to have more time for your team and we are always trying to find the best solutions to attract new colleagues.

Tell us about your business and recruitment needs at biaoffice@bia.ro

Assessing problem-solving c skills is a necessary process in recruiting to ensure you’re bringing on board people able to meet the challenges that arise. People who can solve problems have a logical mindset and analytical thinking, as well as creativity, skills that help businesses grow.

 

Sources:

60% Of Employers Prize Candidates With This In-Demand Skill In 2023 (forbes.com);

https://www.neuroworx.io/magazine/importance-of-problem-solving-skills-when-hiring-candidates/

https://www.perkbox.com/uk/resources/blog/10-problem-solving-interview-questions-to-find-the-best-candidate

https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/how-do-you-compare-rank-candidates-based

 

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