The Top 5 Important Leadership Skills in Candidates

Posted on Mon, November 22, 2021 by Vicki Mann

Leadership skills are central to so many aspects of our lives. Without leadership, we would struggle to inspire, motivate and manage large groups of people, set common goals and progress. To be a leader is a responsibility; anyone can be put in a leadership position, but to be a very good leader, or better still, a great leader, certain skills, abilities and knowledge are required. To be an effective leader, it is imperative that an individual possesses the key leadership skills and traits that allow them to do so. Especially in leadership and management positions, candidates and managers must show effective leadership skills in order to motivate teams, increase morale and improve productivity. Leadership skills are important for two main reasons: 

  1. Firstly, leadership skills enable leaders to deliver comprehensive training and management to their teams which enables them to work in line with company visions.
  2. Secondly, leadership skills are necessary to motivate teams to execute these visions efficiently and productively.

Here, at Skillsarena, we believe these are the five most important leadership skills to any team:  

Communication skills

Communication is a key characteristic of any good leader. To be a good leader, individuals must be consistently learning how and when to communicate, and when to communicate for impact. Communication skills obviously involves talking and listening, but effective communication is about being clear about deliverable objectives and sharing them with your wider team to produce desired results. Understanding how to communicate with your team is crucial to good leadership as your team can understand the expectations placed on them and the tasks at hand more clearly. Although, it's important to keep in mind that communication skills are not one-sided, and communication is a dialogue with your team and company ethos. Good listening and feedback gives leaders a sense of how their team members perform tasks and informs future delegations. Effective communication builds and strengthens relationships, rapport and trust between team members and leadership. Learning how to communicate with your teams and clients well is the foundation of relationship building and a skill which enables great leaders to optimise the effectiveness and cohesion of their teams.  

Delegation

To delegate, that is, assigning different tasks to people to carry out is often looked at as a weakness and not a strength. However, understanding when to distribute your workload is a key leadership attribute. When you try to carry out too many responsibilities, regardless of whether you are strong at them or not, you tend to burn out, so it is hugely important to delegate tasks. To delegate means that you have taken the time to understand your team members and can assign tasks based on their strengths and skill sets. Delegation is key to team building as you instil confidence and build trust and rapport with your team. What this means is that, in the long run, excellent work is developed and you are one step closer to achieving your goals because everyone puts their “best foot forward”. Effective team leaders understand that delegating tasks to your team members not only motivates team working but plays into your team's top skills and demonstrates your commitment to team development.  

Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to use emotion to increase your own and others’ success.” - Annie McKee Effective leaders are those with a high level of emotional intelligence. Put simply, emotional intelligence is recognising your emotions and the emotions of others and being able to manage them. Emotional intelligence involves soft skills such as self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation, motivation and social skills. All of these skills are crucial to good team leadership. For instance, a leader could deliver very good training and brilliant ideas but without emotional intelligence, a leader may be unable to recognise heightened stress levels or other circumstances which can impact team motivation and productivity. The work environment is a social setting and so if a leader is unable to understand and regulate their emotions, they will not be as efficient as they should be. Great leaders are those that can lead by example, creating safe environments for their team members to express their emotions to work effectively.  

Integrity

Former American president, Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Leaders who demonstrate integrity earn trust among their team members. Integrity is simply defined as being honest and truthful. It also means to have and stand by certain strong values. As a leader, integrity means seeking the best interest of your organisation by making the best ethical choices. Integrous leaders own up to their mistakes when they make them and inspire others to do the same. Integrous leaders also "practice what they preach" and ensure that they also follow the policies they set up for their teams.  

Flexibility

Flexible leaders are those that are able to adapt to ever-changing socio-economic environments. When a leader is flexible, they can alter plans to accommodate unprecedented circumstances. For example, most leaders in organisations had to become flexible with their working styles from the beginning of January 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Flexibility as a leader also looks like revising current problem-solving skills within a team and then finding new and creative ways to solve problems. It is important to point out that flexible leaders also need to be leaders with open minds.

How to Test for Different Leadership Skills in your Organisation

Here at Skillsarena, we offer multiple pre-employment tests that accurately assess an applicant’s strength in key areas and their technique in identifying good solutions to problems in the workplace.

Situational Judgement Tests

This is a psychometric test that measures soft skills like common sense, non-academic behaviours, techniques in identifying solutions and practical intelligence. The tests work in a practical way, presenting applicants with a variety of workplace situations that they might encounter when performing the functions that the job requires. These situations help a prospective employer an insight into how a prospective employee might respond to a given situation with solutions.

Logic-Based Aptitude Tests

Our logical reasoning tests measure a candidate’s non-verbal intelligence – their capacity to analyse situations, extract rules, and find the right solution using logical and abstract reasoning. This is an in-depth cognitive test that provides an accurate indication of how successful a candidate will be when faced with workplace problems that they have to solve. Unlike most aptitude tests, logical reasoning tests do not measure knowledge in a particular subject area, simply their thought problem-solving process. This means that it is a useful tool in the recruitment process for any employer to evaluate applicants in any field.

Bespoke Tests

There is the option to create your own tests tailored to the demands of your organisation. This is a successful means of guaranteeing the right hires and ensuring good job performance. At Skillsarena, we have the expertise to create a quiz or any other testing experience that will assess the leadership skills that are most necessary to your company. Leadership skills in the workplace cannot be stated enough. Organisations don't want to simply survive but thrive and succeed. Employees need to possess leadership skills of Emotional Intelligence, Communication, Delegation, Integrity and Flexibility. These leadership skills are paramount to career and character development. Leadership skills also enable any leader allow thrive in any industry they might find themselves in.

Our Situational Judgement Tests, Logical Reasoning Tests, and Bespoke Tests are a great way to guaranteeing a good hire, testing an applicant’s capacity to solve a real problem in ways that can’t be measured by interview questions alone. At Skillsarena, we help you evaluate these abilities and leadership skills in applicants, and in doing so we make sure that your organisation is successful.

Get started with Skillsarena today to bring out the best in your candidates! Need any assistance? Call us on 0203 693 2201 or send an email to info@skillsarena.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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