Sunday, March 31, 2019

The "Soft" Skills You Need to Look for in Your New Hires!


Do You know why good “Soft” Skills are so important in your employees? Do You even know what are“Soft” Skills really are?

People that possess good “Soft” skills are able to work with and lead others. They are creative problem solvers and are often inherently likable ~ all of which make for valuable employees. 


When you are looking for a new hire, many of your applicants will have the technical “hard” skills needed to do the job. But those that also possess coveted soft skills are the ones you really need to consider!

Even candidates that may not have every qualification you desire can be great new hires, if they possess those soft skill traits that are hard to teach. 


The Soft Skills You should look for in your job applicants are:

Good Work Ethic - Look for someone that takes their career seriously. They are hard wired to get the job done, are punctual, and meet deadlines. Checking with past employers, references, or educators is a good way to get a glimpse into this trait.

Leadership - The kind of leaders you want can not only take charge but are also able to work well as a team. They can coordinate and lead a team in such a way that it makes the team as a whole better. They are confident, but not cocky. They inspire those around them and get them to work at or above their potential. They also understand the importance of delegating and trusting others to get the job done. Leaders like this will grow personally and professionally, along with those around them.

Team Player - While the phrase “team player” may seem cliche, the traits it embodies are invaluable. Someone who possesses these skills knows how to cooperate with others, while still being able to take on a leadership role when needed (see Leadership). They are able to accept and offer ideas to promote productivity and give feedback to help the team as a whole succeed.

Effective Communicator - Being a good communicator means not only being able to effectively share views but also being a good listener. Those that possess this skill are able to effectively get a point across in a way that results in understanding. This skill is important in dealing with both co-workers, managers, and clients.




Resourceful Problem Solver - Look for applicants that can think logically in the face of adversity or problems. They are flexible and able to look at a problem and come up with a creative, unique solution. Employees who are strong in this skill can help lead to company improvements, increased efficiency, and innovation.

Time Management - People good at this skill are able to prioritize and make the most of their time. Like good leaders, they delegate when necessary, and to the person who is best able to get the job done. They are efficient but don’t cut corners. Employees who manage their time well are often your most productive.

Willingness to Learn - The desire to keep learning new skills and to take on increasing responsibilities is the earmark of a valuable employee. This is especially valuable if your applicant doesn’t possess every one of the technical or “hard” skills to do a particular job. Hiring someone who is open to and capable of learning new things, along with a combination of other soft skills, can ultimately be the most desirable.  

Likable - “Likability” might be the most underrated “soft” skill of all. It is something that really can’t be taught. It is an inherent ability to put those around them at ease and make people want to be with them. People that are likable often have a positive attitude.

Being likable alone is not enough of a reason to choose someone as a new hire. However, hiring someone who is unlikeable, even though they have the skills you need, is often in the end, a mistake. But, when likability is combined with any of the other soft skills, and a few of the hard skills needed to do the job, you will gain a valuable asset to your workforce.

Discover the benefits of hiring likable employees in your Small Business in “Do Nice People really Finish Last?”.

Hiring with Soft Skills in mind is especially important for a Small Business. 

When you own a small business, everyone works in close proximity and often wears many hats. In addition, Small Businesses may not always attract applicants with every hard skill needed. Hiring for the soft skills that are hard to teach, and training for the other skills you need, is often a better alternative.

Discover more about how you can attract top talent to your Small Business in "4 Reasons Why Job Seekers will Want to Work for Your Small Business"!
And you can find out more about the best employees to look for in your Small Business, and the ones to avoid, here!

Overall, the best employers look for a mix of the hard skills required to do the job and the soft skills that will help them and the company as a whole succeed. 
And when you find that perfect mix, you are on your way to making the best new hire for you and your company.


Just remember, no matter how much you may be impressed with your applicant, don’t skip the background check! 


Asking questions of past employers, co-workers, or other references, along with verifying their training and education is invaluable in determining whether your new applicant has both the Hard and Soft Skills you desire. 
Contact Us! We can help!


Happy Hiring! 

Authored by   



Contact API Today to help you with your employment screening needs.
Find out more About Us and our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services too!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Isn't a Background Check Just a Way to Breach Your Privacy!


Are You afraid a Background Check is simply a way for employers to find out personal things about you?

This question is one that worries many job applicants. 

Fears abound concerning “what they (investigators) will find” and if that information could keep them from getting the job. 

Many Job seekers even wonder why employers need all this “personal” information in the first place!  

These are all valid concerns when it comes to employment background checks ~ and anything that “exposes” what we consider our personal and private information is viewed as suspect.

If you are among those worried, know that you are not alone!

It is a question that crops up often on the popular Q&A site, Quora.

Here is the answer I recently posted……

Is a background check a breach of one’s personal data or, in other words, an invasion of privacy? The simple answer is No! When it comes to Employment Background Checks, they are done completely out in the open and with a clear purpose ~ to hire the best, and safest, possible candidate for the job.

These types of background checks are also only done after a conditional offer of employment has been made and with the clear knowledge and signed consent of the applicant. Employers are up front as to what they will check and how far back they will go (usually 7 - 10 years) for the information they need. They will also inform the applicant of their rights when it comes to background checks, which includes the right to withdraw consent to the background check at any time and to mitigate or deny any “red flags” found during the background check. None of this is an invasion of privacy or breach of personal data”.

You can find more answers to this question here!

When it comes to Employment Background Checks, the number one reason they are not a “breach” of privacy is that they are done only with the applicant’s complete knowledge and consent.


Before a background check even begins, applicants are informed that a check will be done and sign an authorization permitting release of information from relevant institutions such as courts, universities, and past employers.

Applicants are also notified of their rights concerning the background check, and that includes the right to withdraw consent at any time.

This sets the open and above board tone for the entire screening process. There is no “breach” here!

Good employers also take it a step further and focus on protecting the rights and privacy of their applicants.

To that end, the background checks they request are done with a specific purpose in mind and only information relevant to the position being filled is investigated.

Employers are careful to strike a good balance between their applicant’s personal privacy and getting the information they need to make a safe new hire!

The key (to achieving this balance) is understanding Why Background Checks are necessary, understanding How to protect your candidate’s privacy, and the Right Way to Use the information you find”!

When looking at “Why” background checks are vital to the hiring process, it really comes down to job fit and safety. 

It is important for employers to know that their candidate will be able to do the job ~ whether that means training, education, skill set, or personality.

It is also important for employers to be informed about whether their applicant has a criminal history that could make them an unsafe hire.

That does not mean employers simply delve into every aspect of their applicant’s life without regard.

Protecting their applicant’s privacy is a duty employers take very seriously. They develop and implement policies designed to safeguard personal information and consider it a crucial part of balancing their “need to know” and the applicant’s need for privacy.

Find out more in “Do You Believe Background Checks are an Invasion of Privacy?”.


Employers simply aren’t Using Background Checks to “Spy” on You! 

That is why when it comes to background checks, good employers will focus only on verifying what is necessary to the job!

To determine what to check, employers consider:

  • The level of the position being filled
  • If the employee will have access to company assets
  • If the employee will have access to sensitive customer and company data
  • If the employee will have direct contact with clients, customers, and other employees

Being as specific as possible with the answers to these questions will help a company determine what they need to screen for during the background check. That is called Fitting the Background Check to the Job!

Discover more about the importance of this here!

The bottom line is ~ when employers do a background check, they are ultimately only interested in an assurance that they are making the best hire…not in discovering your most personal and private information!

What they want is corroboration that they have made the right decision in wanting to hire you!

By running a background check, Employers are simply looking for confirmation that they have made the right choice. 

By this point in the hiring process, they have already read your resume, interviewed you, and, out of all the other candidates, picked you as a good hire.  

They have also invested a great deal of time and money....and they will have to spend even more screening you. Employers are simply not in the business of wasting time or money.

When an employer starts the background check process, it is because they are interested. You have already met many of the criteria necessary to fit in and do the job.  

However, they would be negligent if they did not make sure.  Background checks are designed to do just that”., excerpt from “Surprise! Doing a Background Check Means They WANT to Hire You!”.

All this attention to your rights and privacy shows that when done right, Employment Background Checks are not designed to invade your privacy.

They are simply a tool employers use with a clear goal in mind and with a focus on gathering only the information needed to hire the best possible candidate. 
And that is good for both the company and for job applicants!

Authored by  


If you are looking to hire, API will help you hire safely and effectively, all while keeping your budget in mind. 

Discover what our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services can do for You and Your Small Business.

And if you are looking for a job, API is here for you too!
We will help you get your resume “background check ready” and give you peace of mind about what is “out there” about you!

Click on these links to learn more About Us and what our Clients have to say about API too!