How to Find a Candidate with Hybrid Skills

How to Find a Candidate with Hybrid Skills

To most, the term ‘hybrid’ is something better suited to describe a Greek mythological beast.

However, it’s also establishing itself as a major buzzword in the world of recruitment and business.

With the rapid evolution of technology and digitisation, businesses are being stretched to a point where they need employees to fulfil more than one role all in a day’s work.

For instance, head of happiness style positions are cropping up time and time again to fuse the jobs of a salesperson, a technical advisor and a customer service role.

Naturally, this kind of professional will need to use a combination of technical and non-technical skills. For example, they can’t just listen and demonstrate problem-solving soft skills to help a customer with their issue, they must also use their time with them to effectively upsell other products too.

Sure, these hybrid jobs often come with a bigger salary attached – and rightfully so. But it’s often cheaper than having two people doing similar jobs.

So how can you identify these types of candidates who have hybrid skills? What questions should you ask during the interview stage?

Well, believe it or not, the hardest part doesn’t involve finding someone who possesses all of the necessary technical skills, it’s actually a case of understanding how they function when they need to use a mix of hard and soft skills.

To get a better grip of this, you should use a behavioural interviewing approach which encourages candidates to tell you about how they work and how they’d deal with certain tricky situations.

Here are some initial ideas on how to find an ideal professional with hybrid skills.

What are the key skills for hybrid jobs?

Before I delve into the examples of behavioural interview questions, it’s vital that you know what some of the most common key skills for hybrid jobs actually are.

According to Burning Glass, one in four jobs show signs of hybridisation and one in eight positions are highly hybridised, covering more than 250 occupations.

The five most common areas are:

  • Big data and analytics
  • The intersection of design and development
  • Sales and customer service
  • Emerging digital tech
  • Evolving compliance a regulatory landscape

Those candidates who can demonstrate these kinds of skills can really help your business in a number of ways. It’s just a case of whether they know when and how to use these alongside other skills.

Interview questions to test a candidate’s hybrid skills

How they handle conflict

A good area to focus on is conflict. Why? Because it tests a candidate’s ability to handle certain sticky situations and showcase their methods of resolving it.

Example question: Give me an example of how you’ve handled working with another person who has challenged your ideas.

Good signs to look out for is if a candidate tells you how they made a challenging colleague into an ally by involving them on the project more.

On the flip side, if the candidate says that they ignored them, stayed strong and got the project done without them, this isn’t a good example of someone with hybrid skills.

Problem solving

Getting a candidate to describe how they dealt with an angry customer or colleague can give you a real taste of how they use their problem solving soft skills over their hard skills.

Example question: How have you dealt with an upset customer or colleague before?

Any response which touches upon active listening, going the extra mile to remedy the situation and following up to make sure that they are ok is absolutely perfect.

Whereas if the candidate says that they delegated the issue to someone else, this is a serious red flag.

Dealing with a bad situation

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. By challenging candidates to give you some real cases of how they made a mistake and their approach towards rectifying it will make pinpointing a responsible individual easy.

Example question: Give me an example of when you’ve made a mistake in your career and what you did about it.

Honesty is the best policy here. It’s a matter of how the individual learnt from it and adopted certain methods to demonstrate their strong character, problem solving abilities and their handling of adversity.

If the candidate simply highlights their strengths and doesn’t provide an archaic journey of self-discovery, this shows they probably haven’t learnt anything from the experience and are likely to blame others for their wrongdoings in the future.

Final thoughts

Finding a candidate with hybrid skills shouldn’t be too tricky if you know what you’re looking for and ask the right questions in the interviews.

With the world offering so many opportunities to self-improve and attain new qualifications in our own personal time, you’ll be surprised by how many professionals are taking these steps to ensure they land these higher paid jobs.

It’s just your job to uncover the way they combine these hard skills with the soft ones to ensure your business gets an individual who can be personable, as well as practical. 

Enjoyed reading this? Then check out our other posts on how to effectively assess candidates here.

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