Process servers work as part of a legal team, with their primary responsibility being to deliver legal documents to individuals involved in court cases. Examples of documents include subpoenas, complaints or court summons documents.
Their work forms an integral part of the legal and court system, as they are also involved in filing legal documents, court papers, and transcripts, along with investigative work in tracking down individuals who need to be served relevant court papers.
Given the variety of tasks they need to perform, you need to be sure that the individuals you hire demonstrate the necessary skills and abilities to deal with the role and be successful at it.
This article explores the skills and abilities you need to look for in a process server. You will also discover the pre-employment tests that you can include in your recruitment process for process server roles, so you can hire the best candidates based on the skills and technical abilities to perform well.
What should a process server be able to do?
Process servers act on behalf of the courts as an impartial third party. Their main task is to deliver court-related documents to anyone required to be involved in a legal court case.
Process servers may also be involved in investigative work to track down individuals if they try to relocate or hide their location, in anticipation of being served legal documents.
The role requires individuals to be responsible and keep confidential information. Process servers are involved in the filing of relevant court papers, as well as documenting any issues arising around the delivery of court documents.
They may also be involved in interviewing individuals to determine the location of those who need to be served court papers, or use relevant databases to aid their research on the location of individuals. In this instance, process servers need to ensure that any documented information about their investigative communications adheres to appropriate legal and professional standards.
Skills to look for in a process server
Process servers need to have the appropriate skills that enable them to carry out day-to-day tasks in a role that can be challenging.
Ensuring that you screen applicants for these skills means that you can be assured that those you hire meet the requirements of all aspects of the role.
There are several essential skills that you should look for when recruiting process servers.
Communication skills: all process servers need to verbally communicate clearly and efficiently. Their role involves sharing important information about individuals' presence in court. Using their verbal communication skills to convey information in a way others understand is essential for process servers to carry out their primary task effectively.
Active listening: process servers need to be able to give their full attention to the people they are speaking to. Demonstrating active listening skills means that process servers can respond appropriately whether they are delivering court documents or participating in investigation interviews.
Interpersonal skills: being aware of how people react and adapting their communication style and response enables process servers to deal with situations appropriately. They meet many people as part of their job, so being attuned to those they are dealing with and adapting their communication accordingly are integral parts of their role.
Microsoft Office suite: process servers are required to file court documents and document communications. Having a working knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite is essential in this role.
Useful abilities for a process server
To be an effective process server, individuals need to demonstrate a set of inherent abilities. These abilities enable them to carry out their tasks in the most efficient manner, drawing on their different abilities to reach a favorable outcome as necessary for the court case.
Persuasion: process servers need to be able to persuade individuals to come around to their way of thinking, especially in cases where individuals are reluctant to take receipt of court documents. This requires process servers to use clear and persuasive language when communicating with others.
Problem-solving: process servers need to use logical thinking and apply critical thinking to solve problems and spot potential issues. In their investigative work, they need to be able to identify trends, relationships and patterns in the information and use this when solving problems; for example, finding an individual's whereabouts.
Time management: having the ability to work under pressure, manage their own time and work to deadlines is vital for all process servers.
Adaptability: taking the initiative, being flexible and thinking creatively are all important parts of being adaptable, an ability that is essential for all process servers.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a process server?
There are several soft skills tests that you can use in the early stages of your recruitment process. These tests allow you to identify only those candidates that demonstrate the required soft skills to be a successful process server.
Time management: a timed test that gives you a deeper understanding of how individuals manage their time, prioritize, and work under pressure. This is a scenario-based test using workplace scenarios.
Interpersonal skills: a test designed to determine how well candidates interact with others. This test goes beyond assessing communication skills as it evaluates an individual's social abilities and emotional awareness when dealing with others.
Decision-making skills: this is a scenario-based test that evaluates how well individuals can make decisions based on the information they are given. The test also assesses their critical thinking and logical reasoning capabilities in making the appropriate decision.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a process server?
When hiring a process server, technical and aptitude tests can be used to assess whether candidates possess the essential abilities required for the role.
Situational judgement test: a scenario-based assessment that enables you to better understand how individuals tend to behave in situations they are likely to encounter while on the job. This test also allows you to determine individuals working styles, as well as gain more information on their personality and traits in the workplace.
Logical reasoning test: a timed assessment designed to determine an individual's aptitude to apply logical reasoning to solve problems. This non-verbal test requires the test taker to spot patterns or relationships between information and then use this information to solve problems.
Verbal reasoning test: a test designed to evaluate whether candidates can read and understand information, then answer questions based on the information they have learned. This test assesses an individual's understanding of written words and their ability to interpret written information.
Microsoft Word: this test assesses candidates' understanding and working knowledge of using Microsoft Word to perform their duties.
Our recommended test battery for a process servers
When recruiting for process servers, our recommended test battery includes the following assessments:
Situational judgement test: a scenario-based assessment that indicates how individuals tend to behave when faced with situations they are likely to be in when on the job. This test also provides an insight into a candidate's characteristics and working style.
Logical reasoning test: enables you to assess an individual's problem-solving ability using logical thinking. Candidates need to be able to identify trends and relationships and make logical inferences based on the information given to solve a problem.
Decision-making skills: a test that uses situational-based questions to determine a candidate's skill in making relevant and appropriate decisions based on the information they have been presented with. This test also assesses candidates' critical thinking and problem-solving skills involved in the decision-making process.
Interpersonal skills: a test that enables you to determine whether candidates can adapt their communication style, pick up on social cues and use their communication skills appropriately. This test also measures an individual's emotional intelligence.
Microsoft Word: a practical test that determines an individual's proficiency in using Microsoft Word and its functions as relevant to the tasks required for a process server.
For more information on hiring a process server, check out Picked's page on process server tests.