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DMatt  
#1 Posted : 08 July 2019 11:35:42(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
DMatt

When considering Senior level H&S positions, what soft skills would you look for in a candidate?

Any particularly useful qualifications (not asking about H&S qualifications)?

Realise most is proven via work experience.

Many thanks

DMatt

Edited by user 08 July 2019 11:38:00(UTC)  | Reason: spelling!

Clark34486  
#2 Posted : 08 July 2019 12:04:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

IT skills for me, I am utterly useless with IT (I left school when there were 2 x BBC B computers for the entire school). Millenials seem to be amazing with IT nowadys and this is an absolute must to get on in the wider world of employment today.

That being said I don't have a clue what IT skills are needed other that the usual Microsoft suite

hilary  
#3 Posted : 09 July 2019 06:59:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

I would look for:

empathy

honesty

as the two major soft skills in H&S. 

Empathy - there is a lot of personal interaction as part of health and safety, especially if you get involved in aspects of the Equality Act.  Being able to understand "people issues" and work with them to find a solution is not a cut and dried "one answer fits all" situation, each person is an individual. 

Honesty - Anyone disingenuous is not going to win the support of the workforce.  People know when they're being lied to so make sure you get someone who is honest.  At my place they might not like what I say all the time, but I tell them the truth and I am very well respected for it.

I might put a couple of real tester questions in any interview to see how the candidate reacts - do they go along with what you say, or do they disagree and stand their ground for the greater good.

thanks 2 users thanked hilary for this useful post.
Martin Fieldingt on 09/07/2019(UTC), Safety Contractor on 12/07/2019(UTC)
jmaclaughlin  
#4 Posted : 09 July 2019 08:05:51(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jmaclaughlin

All a bit subjective of course but, I would go for cheerful and tenacious and depending on industry streetwise which is a definite must in railway or construction.

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 09 July 2019 10:56:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The thing about IT is that the b******s that supply it keep “upgrading it”. I have been on loads of IT courses and as soon as I get the hang of one way of doing something they completely change the system. I got quite good at creating forms on Word and then they made it “better” ie completely different and I gave up.

Empathy is a really good quality. It means that you can see why some people do things in a particular way (which might seem completely mad at the time) I sometimes get  the impression that H&S bods come across as know-alls trying to impose their way of doing things and that anything else is stupid and wrong. I reality most people try to do the right thing but something in the organisation is blocking them.

Honesty means that you don’t go spouting the corporate b*****s that some managers do: “Health and Safety is the most important thing that we do” as opposed to the truth which is closer to:” I want this yesterday and I don’t care what you have to do to deliver it”. You must try to balance company needs with Health and Safety (but of course getting that balance right is the tricky bit).

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Dave5705 on 11/07/2019(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#6 Posted : 09 July 2019 11:35:23(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Thick skin, patience and great communication skills. Not necessarily in that order...

jwk  
#7 Posted : 09 July 2019 15:08:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Realism, humility and a sense of proportion. Not all battles are worth fighting, not all risks are equal, not all counter-arguments are stupid,

John

thanks 3 users thanked jwk for this useful post.
GavGregson on 10/07/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 10/07/2019(UTC), Dave5705 on 11/07/2019(UTC)
RayRapp  
#8 Posted : 09 July 2019 18:14:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

All of the above...

WatsonD  
#9 Posted : 10 July 2019 11:19:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

I would add good problem solver, good listener and good communicator.

Clark34486  
#10 Posted : 10 July 2019 11:31:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Hilary is exactly right in terms of the 'key' requirements, human skills make the difference between a competent practitioner and an exceptional one (IMO of course)

Thing is you can't, generally, percieve this during an interview.

I wrok with a tight team of core individuals that move with me from place to place, the process we use to interview is:

  • Initial interview (after a really studious CV sift identifying no more than 3-4 candiates to bring forward)
  • I then interview after the inital
  • Invite them forward to spend a day or two with us, by this stage no more than 2 candidates
  • My senior guy then has a cards on the table discussion away from site (cafe etc.)

offer.....

We look for the potential and the person rather than the certificate and 30 years as a SHE practitioner

WatsonD  
#11 Posted : 10 July 2019 15:00:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

Thing is you can't, generally, percieve this during an interview.

I wrok with a tight team of core individuals that move with me from place to place, the process we use to interview is:

  • Initial interview (after a really studious CV sift identifying no more than 3-4 candiates to bring forward)
  • I then interview after the inital
  • Invite them forward to spend a day or two with us, by this stage no more than 2 candidates
  • My senior guy then has a cards on the table discussion away from site (cafe etc.)

offer.....

We look for the potential and the person rather than the certificate and 30 years as a SHE practitioner

So candidates have to commit to 2 interviews and a whole day (or two) along with a third meeting afterwards? Thats taking a lot of time from someone.

thanks 1 user thanked WatsonD for this useful post.
webstar on 16/07/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#12 Posted : 11 July 2019 20:31:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

I once attended three days of selection to work for an oral hygiene company and yes it is too much but then the parent Co was American where such recruitment is considered normal to sift out individuals from corporate "team players"
Clark34486  
#13 Posted : 15 July 2019 15:07:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Originally Posted by: WatsonD Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

Thing is you can't, generally, percieve this during an interview.

I wrok with a tight team of core individuals that move with me from place to place, the process we use to interview is:

  • Initial interview (after a really studious CV sift identifying no more than 3-4 candiates to bring forward)
  • I then interview after the inital
  • Invite them forward to spend a day or two with us, by this stage no more than 2 candidates
  • My senior guy then has a cards on the table discussion away from site (cafe etc.)

offer.....

We look for the potential and the person rather than the certificate and 30 years as a SHE practitioner

So candidates have to commit to 2 interviews and a whole day (or two) along with a third meeting afterwards? Thats taking a lot of time from someone.


Yep, works for me

WatsonD  
#14 Posted : 16 July 2019 08:41:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: WatsonD Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

Thing is you can't, generally, percieve this during an interview.

I wrok with a tight team of core individuals that move with me from place to place, the process we use to interview is:

  • Initial interview (after a really studious CV sift identifying no more than 3-4 candiates to bring forward)
  • I then interview after the inital
  • Invite them forward to spend a day or two with us, by this stage no more than 2 candidates
  • My senior guy then has a cards on the table discussion away from site (cafe etc.)

offer.....

We look for the potential and the person rather than the certificate and 30 years as a SHE practitioner

So candidates have to commit to 2 interviews and a whole day (or two) along with a third meeting afterwards? Thats taking a lot of time from someone.


Yep, works for me

I'm sure it does. My thoughts were with the applicants jumping through hoops, rather than you.

thanks 1 user thanked WatsonD for this useful post.
webstar on 16/07/2019(UTC)
DMatt  
#15 Posted : 17 July 2019 14:07:09(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
DMatt

Thanks for all the responses.

I've decided the best soft-skills I can develop is to work shadow the operator groups at my workplace. I will try to understand how they work (not necessarily from a H&S perspective), how important their individual role is to the success of the business, what are their challenges etc. They are all experts in their particular part of the process (most easily over 10,000 hours experience); I think by speaking to them about what they need and then trying to distill this into an actionable list that I am able to sell to the site leadership team, will be some of the best soft skills I can develop. 

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