How to capture and effectively measure soft skills, such as empathy?
Empathy has been widely studied and there are a number of validated assessments which attempt toquantifya person's capacity and/or display of empathy. In fact, there are organizations dedicated to assembling these assessments into one place, such as theCenter for Building a Culture of Empathy. But, the only way to truly assess empathy is in the context of relationships. A person or group being assessed can be present with or placed into a situational event, scenario, or mocked-up interaction and their response observed by others in the scenario as well as onlookers to rate the individual's empathy. This quantified information can be combined with some of the assessment data (self report and observed) to come up with a very good rating of a person’s ability to empathize.
How do you evaluate the development of a soft skill?
If we continue with our empathy example above, ideally an assessment and observation would be done without the person knowing that you were measuring empathy. This will produce the best, most realistic, rating. Once the assessment or observation has been performed once, if done again, the subject of the assessment will be wise to what is being assessed and will automatically do better just because they were exposed to the assessment prior. Therefore, while it is easiest to administer the same assessments, it is more accurate to administer another.
Additionally, enough time must pass for an individual to grow in the development of that soft skill. The idea, then, would be to do an assessment to get a base value, a starting point, for the soft skill (like an empathy score). Then, to continue to assess that individual by different means (but which align somewhat to the initial assessment) to monitor the progress of, or the decline of that skill.
What stops an untrained HR team from using "emotional intelligence"as a proxy for hiring people they like/just like them?
Nothing. That, of course, is the company’s prerogative. However, as most organizations have found out, diversification of race, color, sex, age, viewpoints, attitudes, personalities, et cetera benefits a company much more than a set of employees who look, act, think, and feel the same. Some of the benefits are explained in research and online articles, including this research fromBig Think.
Reduce Bias in the Workplace with digital credentials
''Even well-intentioned people find themselves captive to systems that perpetuate biases and exclusion. By deploying tools and approaches that center on proven skills, organizations can ensure they live up to their values and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.” - Jonathan Finkelstein, Founder & CEO, Credly
Workplace individuals often harbor unconscious biases, leading to subjective assumptions based on background, experiences, or preferences without awareness.
In an effort to eliminate discrimination from hiring processes, organizations can utilize digital credentials. These credentials not only provide rigorous, consistent, and verified training but also serve as a crucial tool to break down hiring barriers. Hiring managers can confidently assess candidates with digital credentials, ensuring that they possess the essential skills needed for the role, thereby effectively mitigating bias in the recruitment process.
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