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Ekkiden: finding the right person more than the right skill

Recruiters often talk about finding the right skills for companies. At Ekkiden, we see things differently: we prefer to find the right person.

Why do we do this? Because even if we are looking for skills, we also place high value in finding a culture fit and interpersonal skills during our recruitment process. 

Image by © Alif Ramdhasuma via Unsplash

 min read
Ekkiden: finding the right person more than the right skill

To explain this point, which has been our identity since day one, we asked Juana, Employee Experience Manager, and Marilena, Talent Acquisition Manager.  

Here are their answers! 

How would you define the ‘right person’ for a project? 

It’s a very good question! 

For us, the right person is firstly someone who fulfils the relevant requirements regarding tools and skills. But more importantly, we seek personality. 

How do we do that? 

In the early recruitment stages of our process, we always ask the candidates what they’re looking for and what they want to develop, because we want to know what career opportunities we can offer and what expectations we can meet in order to respond to our candidates’ purpose. 

Their motivations, their aspirations, the challenges they search for, the impact they want to have: all these help us to determine the right person for a project. 


Why focus on soft skills more than hard skills? 

Professional skills are divided into soft skills and hard skills. These are two facets of the employee profile and they both contribute to success in the working world.  

  • Hard skills are essential to the exercise of a profession and correspond to the employee's know-how on the job market. 
  • Soft skills are not professional qualifications in the strict sense. They are the personal skills of the employee. 

Soft skills are the ones that define a candidate, and they are harder to learn than hard skills. They tell us who you are and who you can become. 

Therefore, soft skills indicate quickly if you can fit a company’s culture: if a company focuses on teamwork, team spirit lacking candidates won’t be a match even if they have the required technical skills. 

In short, the way you behave is more important than what you know. 


What makes a candidate the right person for a job? 

Of course, everyone’s dream is to be the right person for their dream job. However, it’s little bit more complicated than that. 

A candidate’s expertise, their ability to own and drive a project and answer a client’s need are the necessary qualifications we are looking for. 

The candidates that we are eager to meet are the ones that want to own their project, build things from scratch, join a community and collaborate for progress. We want our consultants to be proactive, not afraid to ask questions and above all, willing to contribute to something. 


Which soft skills are the most important according to you? 

We established a 10-points bullet list of what our ideal candidate is like: 

#1 – communication 

#2 – autonomous 

#3 - understanding expectations and needs 

#4 – patience 

#5 – teamwork 

#6 – leadership 

#7 – growth and development 

#8 - challenge seeker 

#9 - helping others 

#10 - optimism 


If you gather these traits in addition to the skills required by the job that you’re looking for, you are unstoppable! 


How to define one’s main soft skills? 

Nowadays, a lot of online tests can help you to understand your emotional intelligence.  

We define emotional intelligence as the ability for an individual to perceive, understand, control and express an emotion on their own and to distinguish and decode an emotion in others.   

This heightened awareness of one's own emotions and those of others can represent a definite advantage during a recruitment process

To analyse your emotional intelligence, your most powerful resource is yourself: a little bit of introspection is at stake here. Rely on your professional and personal experiences, ask your surroundings... 

We created a list of questions you can ask yourselves in case you’re struggling: 

  • What are you good at?  
  • What seems natural to you?  
  • What drives you?  
  • What do you enjoy? 
  • What makes you proud? 
  • What makes you achieve things? 
  • How do you solve problems? 

When you defined what your main soft skills are, bring examples of situations where you used them. Then, you can use these examples during interviews to highlight your soft skills (and hard skills at the same time) while describing a project.  

These skills are your greatest asset to position yourself as the perfect candidate for a company! 


What do we expect from people joining Ekkiden? 

Lead your project and own it. That may seem simple, but behaving naturally like that is precious for us. 

Moreover, we want consultants that wish to be part of the company, to get involved in their career and in the company’s objectives.  

At Ekkiden, our staff and consultants work hand in hand together: we are your partner more than a consultancy company, because we firmly believe that this is how you build trustworthy relationships with people. 


How do you know if the candidate fits with the client? 

Some elements can give us hints. For example, the environments the candidate has worked in before, the size of the previous companies, the type and quantity of interactions, the motivation, the complexity of the issues treated... 

Depending on what our candidates liked in their previous projects, we’re able to give them opportunities to grow! 


What about the mad skills? 

Mad skills are the so-called exceptional or even uncommon aptitudes of a potential candidate. This can be through an atypical professional or life path, or hobbies, a sport or creative activity, a trip... In short, they can be acquired throughout your life path and personal experiences. 

At Ekkiden, we are paying attention to everything related to travelling and volunteering. For example, if we see that a candidate has traveled a lot, or did an exchange program outside their original country, it can be an indicator that they are willing to go outside their comfort zone, that they have experience in inter and multicultural communication and relationships, etc. 

But not only! We are looking closely at your teaching, speaking, training delivering personal experiences, because these are skills that can help you become referents in your expertise, and we are super interested by this kind of entrepreneur profile. 

Indeed, they are essential because they say a lot about people being open-minded, knowing different cultures, wanting to work for a big positive cause and for the world! 

However, we can't interpret these aspects too much without pairing some experiences also in a work environment.  

For example, for a junior position, these factors are an interesting indicator to look at, but the more senior someone gets, the more these topics would be evaluated as part of culture fit, but not connected as actual skills for a working environment. 


Why search for people more than skills? 

Because that’s part of our core values! 

Of course, ideally, you have to be balanced between soft and hard skills. However, if you meet the soft skills and lack elements in hard skills, it’s OK. The opposite is not. 

Companies are made of people, so people are key to their success, culture and growth!  

Furthermore, at Ekkiden, we search for the right people because we want equality and partnership with our consultants, so they can transmit Ekkiden’s spirit to others.  

Interested in our way of doing and seeing consulting?

Check out our job offers and let’s begin our adventure together!