About this Resource
The workforce readiness checklist is designed to help you determine if your job applicants are ready to work and have the soft skills required to be an effective member of the team.
This checklist will help you:
- Determine whether job applicants are workforce ready
- Identify candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, such as areas for improvement
- Discover candidates’ soft skills and whether they have the right attitude for your workplace
- Gauge whether a job applicant is team oriented and communicates well
- And more
How to Use the Workforce Readiness Checklist
To use this checklist, ask candidates how they feel about each statement. You can give them a three point scale with Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, or Disagree to choose from. Alternatively, you can use a five point scale—with Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree—to get a more nuanced understanding of your potential recruits.
It is best to have the checklist in hand when you conduct job interviews. That way, you can ask applicants for examples or to elaborate a certain point. Here are some ways you might gain further insight based on an applicant’s response:
- You said “Neither Agree nor Disagree” to “I can spot my own and others’ mistakes and am ready to make necessary changes.” Can you tell me about a time when you failed to catch a mistake? What did you learn from the experience, and how did it change your process moving forward?
- You said “Strongly Agree” to “I try to avoid unnecessary conflict and try to de-escalate tense situations in a reasonable manner whenever possible.” Can you give me an example of a time when you de-escalated a tense situation?
That’s all there is to it! The checklist is extremely versatile and easy to use. Give it a try!
Limitations of the Workforce Readiness Checklist
Like any tool, the checklist isn’t a silver bullet. It won’t tell you everything you want to know, but it does serve as a great starting point for useful conversation with potential recruits. Here are a couple of things to consider while using it:
First, it is not an exhaustive list. There’s undoubtedly room for improvement. You may want to add new sections or questions to make it more relevant to your situation, business, or industry. You can also ignore some statements or sections if they don’t apply.
Second, this checklist is not a test to gauge whether someone is workforce ready. It doesn’t come with right or wrong answers, and there is no grading scale. It’s up to you to decide which statements (and soft skills) are most important to your company culture or for a given job or role. For example, if you’re hiring a restaurant server, you’ll likely want to focus more on teamwork than on analytical ability. On the other hand, if you’re hiring a new business analyst, you probably care more about the applicant’s writing and problem solving skills.
Our advice? If you’re short on time, just focus on the areas that make the most sense for the role you’re hiring for.