What really matters to employers when it comes to hiring? It may not be exactly what you think.
According to a 2013 BMO Financial Group survey, of 500 Canadian business owners, only three percent of employers think that the degree you have earned or the school you went to are the most important qualities in a candidate. I am not suggesting that education doesn’t matter. In fact, learning and development are essential for any job.
Also, a survey conducted by Workopolis found similar results, with 67 percent of employers saying that rather than job-specific qualifications, they were having difficulty finding candidates with basic business and people skills.
Having worked with hundreds of employers across a variety of industries, it is a sentiment we are hearing more and more often. While qualifications are still commonly used to screen you in for an interview, if you are unable to connect with the hiring manager or communicate the value you would bring to the organization, you probably won’t get past the
When connecting for work, what truly matters to employers?
While each employer may be searching for a unique set of ‘hard’ (or technical) skills to fill jobs, certain skills are nearly universally sought after. Successful companies depend on people who show up and get things done and who can get along with the team, and also with clients and customers.
Employers are looking for individuals who have ‘soft skills’ such as: dependability, motivation, resourcefulness, emotional intelligence, resiliency, flexibility, effective verbal communication, and good interpersonal skills.
More and more employers are emphasizing the importance of someone’s ability to fit within their organization.
The candidate should be able to prove they have these skills through examples from their past actions. While technical (hard) skills are always considered, these personal attributes will make a candidate stand out from the rest, and are some of the most sought after skills in employment today. Remember that the interaction between you and the hiring manager is still the critical moment that can make or break your chances of landing your next job.
About Detry Carragher
As a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Detry Carragher has led Carvo Group since 2004. The team is consulted regularly by employers, industry groups, and employees from across Atlantic Canada on a range of employment-related topics. Detry’s work extends to several of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Fortune 500 technology companies, and she has contributed her insights on CBC, CTV, and the national HR Reporter publication. Detry was recently awarded the prestigious HR Award of Excellence, representing Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She has offered to share her HR insights with Employment Journey readers.
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