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What Employers Want

Posted By APSO, 15 May 2014

What employers want.



Top 5 candidate personality traits

 

Recruiters are all too familiar with the intangible characteristics that employers seek and that are often difficult to quantify and ascertain during the recruitment process, especially as these rarely form part of the assignment brief.

 

A recent study, conducted by Swedish employer branding firm, Universum, has highlighted the top five traits sought by today's leading employers. The annual global survey draws on responses from more than 400 000 professionals and students as well as over 1200 employers in determining the latest trends.

 

"88% of employers are looking for "cultural fit" in hiring their next employee, especially as they struggle to cope with high attrition rates associated with skills shortages and Gen Y attitudes to employment."

 

The survey asked employers what they are looking for in employees, and what they're struggling to find in the job market. The key insight was that employers are grappling to come to terms with hiring individuals who will be with the company long-term and finding a "fit" between the company's organisational culture and the inherent traits of the candidates is deemed paramount.

 

Professionalism, high energy and confidence are the top three traits employers say they are looking for in new hires. These are also the most crucial for candidates to be aware of as recruiters and hiring managers make an assessment of these traits within 30 seconds of meeting the individual.

 

"A manager can read you the moment you walk in the door," says Executive Search consultant Kathy Harris, "from the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your handshake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets." Despite this, even seasoned senior professionals get tripped up and its therefore unsurprising that the employers surveyed ranked confidence as the skill that most candidates are missing.

 

"We remind every candidate of the most granular advice," says Kathy. "The most successful applicant is the one who walks into the interview with his hand outstretched for a firm handshake, who has done his homework on the company and the role, and who is dressed to fit effortlessly into the culture of the workplace."

 

The other traits listed by employers in the survey are not so easily determined. Self-monitoring ranked highly and makes sense in a workplace environment where working effectively independently is as important as being a contributing team member. Assessment of this trait is best managed through behavioural interviewing techniques where candidates are asked to provide examples of their own self leadership.

 

The final trait, intellectual curiosity may on the face of it appear strange, but speaks to employers' desire for employees who are able to solve problems and who want to keep learning; an essential skill in today's rapidly changing environment.

 

Considering these traits, how does your candidate assessment process hold up? Can you ascertain how your candidates rank in terms of these five employment -critical skills, and can you clearly articulate this to your clients when presenting your shortlist?

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgrame  confidence  cultural trait  culture  curiosity  employers want  energy  intellect  personality  professionalism  self-monitoring  traits  want 

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