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What Skills Do Employers Look For?

What Skills Make Job Seekers Stand Out?

What Skills Do Employers Look For? It’s important to know the skills that are most important for companies that are hiring. This information will assist you to be better prepared for the application and interview process.

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Employers Assess Three Essential Skill Sets

Candidates who are qualified to work in scarce skill areas could have an advantage in the job market. There are three essential skill sets that applicants should demonstrate when applying for jobs:

Transferable, Soft and Hard Skills

Employers prioritize transferable, soft, and hard skills differently depending on the job position and industry. Generally, hard skills are considered essential for technical jobs, while soft skills are valued more for roles that involve communication, collaboration, and customer service. Transferable skills are highly valued by employers regardless of the job position, as they can be applied to different job roles and industries.

Here’s a breakdown of how employers prioritize these skills in the hiring process:

  1. Hard Skills: Hard skills refer to technical or job-specific skills, such as coding, data analysis, or accounting. For technical jobs, such as software engineering or data analysis, hard skills are essential, and employers prioritize them during the hiring process. Employers often use technical tests or assessments to evaluate a candidate’s hard skills.
  2. Soft Skills: Soft skills refer to non-technical or interpersonal skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. Soft skills are highly valued in all job positions, as they are critical for building positive relationships with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders. Employers often assess soft skills through behavioural or situational interviews, where candidates are asked to provide examples of how they have demonstrated their soft skills in the past.
  3. Transferable Skills: Transferable skills are skills that can be applied to different job roles and industries, such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Employers highly value transferable skills, as they indicate a candidate’s ability to adapt and learn quickly. Transferable skills are often assessed during interviews, where candidates are asked to describe how they have applied their skills in different situations and roles.

Overall, employers prioritize a combination of hard, soft, and transferable skills when recruiting, depending on the job position and industry. A candidate’s ability to demonstrate a mix of these skills is highly valued in the hiring process, as it indicates their potential to be successful in the job role and organization.

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The Skills Employers Look For

According to various studies and surveys, here are some statistics on the skills that employers look for:

Communication Skills:

Communication skills are one of the most important skills that employers look for in potential employees. A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that communication skills were the most important attribute that employers sought in job candidates (source: NACE Job Outlook 2022).

Teamwork and Collaboration:

In addition to communication skills, employers also look for candidates who can work effectively in teams. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 80% of employers said that teamwork is important for the success of their business (source: LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020).

Problem-Solving:

Problem-solving skills are also highly valued by employers. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that problem-solving skills were the third most important competency for job candidates, after communication skills and professionalism (source: SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Report 2019).

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Adaptability and Flexibility:

Employers also value candidates who can adapt to change and be flexible in their approach. According to a survey by ManpowerGroup, 91% of employers said that they value employees who can adapt and be flexible (source: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q2 2022).

Technical Skills:

Technical skills are also highly valued by employers, especially in fields such as engineering, computer science, and healthcare. A survey by LinkedIn found that 50% of employers said that technical skills were the most important attribute when hiring for entry-level roles (source: LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020).

Leadership Skills:

Leadership skills are important for employees who are looking to advance their careers within an organization. According to a survey by the Center for Creative Leadership, 91% of employers said that they value employees who have leadership skills (source: Center for Creative Leadership).

Analytical and Critical Thinking:

Employers also value candidates who have strong analytical and critical thinking skills. A survey by PayScale found that analytical skills were the second most important skill for employees in the tech industry, after programming skills (source: PayScale Tech Skills Report 2021).

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Sources:

  • NACE Job Outlook 2022
  • LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020:
  • SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Report 2019
  • ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q2 2022
  • Center for Creative Leadership
  • PayScale Tech Skills Report 2021

Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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