Customer Service
Digital Transformation
High Volume Recruitment

How To Hire For Great Communication Skills Without Interviewing?

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November 2, 2021
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How To Hire For Great Communication Skills Without Interviewing?

No matter what sector you work in, the ability to communicate effectively with customers, coworkers, and staff is vital. Employees in the digital era must be able to successfully communicate and receive messages in person, as well as through the digital mediums such as phone, email, and social media.

So how do you test the communication skills of a future employee who will be speaking directly to your customers - without interviewing them? Is that even possible? Employers often struggle to assess communication skills during the interview, and some are still stuck on doing in-person interviews. So what is the magic solution to testing these skills before you call them in to meet? The answer is to use technology.

“In the Global Talent Trends report, we learned that 57% of talent professionals struggle to assess soft-skills.” With 57% of the talent professionals unable to successfully assess soft skills, employers are at a severe disadvantage, and there is a huge problem. No wonder companies often end up having so many "bad hires” as they have no proper solution to test a candidate's communication skills competently.  

Keep reading to learn about the best option for your organization to improve its hiring and training process.

Learn about your candidates’ strengths and weaknesses from communication skill tests

What are communication skills? Communication skills is an umbrella term used to describe a person’s ability to convey and receive information effectively. This broad category of skill sets includes empathy, active listening, responsiveness, clarity, and, perhaps most importantly, language. With the growing trend towards outsourcing and global expansion, hiring people who speak the same language as your customers is essential. Seems simple enough, right? Unfortunately, assessing language and communication skills can be complicated.

The requirement to hire for skills, aptitudes, attitudes, and cultural fit has generated a new set of problems for HR teams—how can candidates be screened for all of these components as fast and efficiently as possible? This is where screening tests come in.

LearningBranch_Strength and weaknesses

Ask candidates to complete online assessments such as games or quizzes related to soft skills or have them complete a specialized AI-driven communication test. Yes, we know you have standardized language tests, but these tests don’t accurately assess higher-level communication skills such as attention to detail, empathy, or active listening.

“We see technology start to help shape soft-skill assessments in the future. These online assessments, which include games, quizzes, etc., analyze the way candidates respond and assess their soft skills systematically and in some regard, with less bias. These insights can help guide your interviews to the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses,” stated Jennifer Shappley.  

Figure out the primary communication skills that you want to test for

Most well-established organizations have spent time and energy defining their corporate culture and attempting to condense it into a few fundamental concepts or words. Honesty, integrity, and excellent customer service are all used frequently in these remarks. However, these ideas, as important as they are, are only the tip of the iceberg. Being part of the HR team one needs to figure out the primary communication skills that are important for your organization’s culture and that you want to test for.

Here are some skills we suggest screening talent for:

  • Attention to detail
  • Comprehension skills
  • Active listening skills
  • Advanced language proficiency
  • Clear concise, responses for phone work
  • Ability to answer questions and resolve  problems clearly and concisely
  • Social and emotional skills (ex: interpersonal skills, empathy, etc.)
  • Adaptability to deal with topic changes and transition statements
  • Creative problem solving

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A Standardized Test vs an AI communication test

Using standardized tests to identify suitable candidates has been around for numerous generations, and due to its worldwide significance, communication tests have grown highly general. However, communication is not always conventional.

To know more in detail, how you might be testing for the wrong skills and the changes that the technological advancement has brought in the hiring sector, read our blog “Why are Candidates Passing your standardized language test and still underperforming”.

Why do employers choose standardized communication tests?

One of the main reasons employers may choose standardized language testing is because they don’t know about Artificial Intelligence(AI) communication testing. There is lack of awareness of the efficient recruiting systems of the 21st century and the fear of being an early adopter of technology. 

Testing for soft skills with AI is new! Many recruiters will choose a known easier path that is cheaper and convenient, but little do they know that with the advancements those legacy processes don’t work efficiently today and end up costing their company more money in the long run.

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Why are employers moving towards AI communication tests?

The inherent challenges of the traditional employment process are apparent, but they are not insurmountable with the appropriate technology. 

Many recruiters, human resource professionals, and contact centers are turning to AI-driven communication software to accurately assess future employee's soft-skill sets. As-needed recruiting tools, such as HiringBranch pre-hire tests, can assist recruiters in hiring more swiftly and efficiently. These pre-hire evaluations provide performance-based results, allowing you to get a more accurate and relevant view of the candidate's abilities.

Pre-hire tests allow recruiters to precisely assess the talents that will help the candidate succeed in their role while also helping the organization achieve its objectives. These tests can be customized for certain roles and tweaked as needed. To facilitate with the ongoing pandemic limitations, the candidates complete these AI tests remotely, with their own device and they do not need to come to the office to complete the test.

Recruiting Talent with the modern approach

Today, contact center employees handle more complex problems than in the past due to increased workplace technology. They deal with geographically diverse problems with ever high customer expectations. 

The advanced technological implementations have enabled customers with multiple self-help options for troubleshooting and problem-solving. Therefore, when the customer contacts the help center, it’s a question to which they could not find an answer in any other way. This means that the contact center staff requires a certain competency level to quickly problem solve on the spot and smoothly manage demanding customers' inquiries. 

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Needless to say, before you hire your next employee, you would want to make sure they can handle the stress and complexity of dealing with the demanding customers of today's environment. So how do you assess your talent pool for these skills?

AI communication assessments can accurately test potential call center representatives' ability to clearly answer the call and efficiently resolve the customer's problem. Yes, standardized tests can do the problem and scenario testing, but the results are often superficial to an individual's actual competency level. Standardized testing usually only allows for one right answer, whereas there could be multiple ways to solve a scenario that the test discounts.  Furthermore, many behavioral and problem-solving questions have not been changed for decades.

Here are some weaknesses of legacy testing:

Not authentic
Too generic
Too easy
Bias to native speakers
Does not test live performance (actual timed speaking and writing)

Employers realize that standardized language tests are biased, and there is a need to test verbal communication skills and written skills. Check out our blog on Virtual Recruiters to look at the many advantages of using an AI-driven communication tests tool.

Why companies are using Learning Branch’s AI-driven communication software?

Because it actually works!

Organizations use HiringBranch's software, to cut time to hire by 50% or more, reduce hiring costs, and standardize benchmarks across sites and regions. They appreciate that the platform uses real-world communication scenarios that their employees would experience at work, to test the potential employee’s competency levels.

Since many platforms cannot effectively measure a candidate's ability to perform under pressure, HiringBranch’s technology uses a mix of machine learning and voice recognition-based automated scoring to grade an individual's performance.

Additionally, organizations can personalize the communication assessments to target specific requirements related to the position they are trying to fill. Create scenario-based questions related to the job, test the candidates, and invite candidates that score well for an interview if required.

Often organizations use the HiringBranch platform to transition to the “No Interview Model.” It's a cost-effective way to recruit high-caliber talent, reduce time spent screening candidates, and hire great communicators.

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It’s time to eliminate the manual evaluation process

Switch to an automated process to evaluate your organization's talent pool. Start using AI communication assessments to test the candidates’ soft skills. Send them an assessment that can be done remotely and save time.

Does SHL guarantee a performance improvement?

We do. Gone are the days of guessing skills in an interview. Rely on technology do it for you with 99% accuracy and boost your hire quality, guranteed.

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