10 qualities employers are looking for

By: Katie Dawkins

Guest Blogger

Friday 30 June 2017


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Recent data from the University of Liverpool has shown that over half of recruiters said that employability skills, such as attitude; your potential for development; and problem solving skills, are more important than a graduate degree.

  1. Communication: Employers want to see your ability to communicate in different capacities, including verbally, over email, through body language, and across different levels of seniority. They also want you to be able to interpret others and express your own ideas in an engaging but concise way.
  2. Management skills: Employers want to know that you can manage your work including delegating projects appropriately and completing work on time, whilst keeping within the budget, if there is one. Employers also want you to be able to work harmoniously with your colleagues. They also expect you to able to self-manage, take initiative, adapt to new challenges, and prioritise your work. Research by McDonalds has shown that “By 2020, over half a million UK workers will be significantly held back by a lack of soft skills”.
  3. English, maths and ICT skills: In an increasingly digital world, employers expect you to have basic tech capabilities, as well as maths and English skills. Research from Inc.com has shown that 73% of employers want strong writers. NCFE’s Functional Skills qualifications in English, maths and ICT help learners function confidently, effectively and independently in their work and life in general.
  4. Teamwork: Being able to bring out the best in those around you and working in synchronicity. A big part of most jobs is being able to work with other people well, in any respect, at any level. Furthermore, employers want people with leadership abilities, according to research by NACEmore than 80% of employers are looking for people with this quality, as it means they can lead a successful team. Find out more about our Level 4 Certificate in Leadership and Management.
  5. Problem-solving:Target Jobs identified problem-solving skills as high on the agenda of employers recruiting new staff. More often than not, you’re expected to be able to identify problems and come up with logical, creative and/or innovative solutions to the problems or circumstances that arise.  This also includes making informed and educated decisions and asking for help and advice if necessary. We have a number of employability qualifications which feature our ‘Problem Solving at Work’ unit, such as our Level 1 Certificate in Employability Skills.
  6. Work ethic: Employers often expect a degree of independent working. The ability to control your own productivity, and your work without direction, is a desirable skill with 73% of respondents to a CareerBuilder poll agreed with this. Jibe, an online recruitment platform states that; “Candidates who set high goals for themselves, or respond well to stretch goals from supervisors, indicate a willingness to do more than clock in and clock out every day”.
  7. Positive attitude: In an article by the Huffington Post, it was stated that “resisting just one opportunity a day to complain will unlock some workplace productivity and set powerful personal change in motion.” Positivity leads to higher productivity and creates a better working environment for other workers in the office. A positive attitude will also make you stand out against others. CareerBuilder found that 72% of people agreed that ‘a positive attitude and outlook has a myriad of benefits for the employee themselves and those around them’.
  8. Honesty:  In a workplace, the ability to recognise mistakes you’ve made and admit to them is vital. Identifying shortcomings and finding ways to address them is an important trait and employers will find your self-awareness and honesty admirable.
  9. Dependability: Employers don’t want people who immediately use up all of their sick days and will often expect you to be considerate when booking in your holidays. They want people who are dependable and will turn up every day, put in energy and do their job. Of course, your time is as valuable as theirs so making sure you do take time off, when you are entitled to, will make you happier and more productive.
  10. Continued Professional Development: “CFO: “What happens if we invest in our people and then they leave us? CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” When you begin a job, employers don’t expect you to know everything, and there will be an element of learning as you go. Often, companies invest in employees’ CDP, benefiting both the business and employees. Making yourself indispensable through new skills will allow you to adapt as your company changes or it will prepare you for you next role, if you move on.

This article was researched and written by Katie Dawkins who joined our Communications Team from Whitley Bay High School on a work experience placement.

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