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Here's What Employers Are Looking For Today.

Source: Favim
Source: Favim

Recruiting trends have taken sporadic patterns; with the advent of technology and social media, and the unstable economy contributes to the clutter, making these trends even more dynamic.

The job seeker no doubt needs to catch up with these trends and change with the times to set himself apart for the dream job when it eventually unfolds its scarf.

Max Nisen in this recent article on The Moneyball, gives a paradigm shift perspective on the norm in hiring candidates. But a key take way for any job-seeker are these 9 things employers look for in candidates today.

You may not possess them all and I’d rather sum them all up to social skills because that’s what getting a job is mostly about.

But this  is more than a list of traits employers look out for in job-seekers, enough to get you started on the right path to your dream job.

So here goes;

The ability to learn and adapt quickly

“Every HR person I talk to says that your passion and drive overcomes educational background and ability except for one thing,” Bersin told Business Insider.

The one innate quality that is absolutely necessary for every job is “learning agility.” That’s the ability to pick things up quickly, to learn on the job, and to take initiative.

Over and over again, the people who perform best are the ones who don’t need to be told what to do, the ones that love challenges, seek information on their own, and quickly adapt.

People who follow instructions are mostly substitutable. Those who can be thrown into a new situation and thrive are truly valuable.


Resilience in the face of rejection

Stereotypes about certain jobs are often proved false when you look at the data.

“Most people believe that a good salesperson has to be an outgoing personality, has to be really friendly and good with relationships,” Kenexa CMO Tim Geisert says. “Part of that’s true, but what we’ve found in our data is that there’s actually a trait that’s hidden that predicts more success than any of those other more overt traits and that’s called emotional courage.”

It’s being resilient, being able to hear “no” again and again and keep going.



It’s not always a single trait, but a combination of two essential things that leads to success, Kenexa CMO Tim Geisert says. Obviously, a friendly demeanor is essential, but that’s not everything.

“That, combined with flexibility as a trait is the difference between good and great people in that position,” Geisert says. “If you think about it, many of the people who deal with the front line of customer service or help desk or any of those sorts of things, what is critical is the ability to switch on a dime and change what you’re doing and still maintain that friendly demeanor.”


A strong professional presence

Because recruiters don’t have to rely on posting things online and hoping for a response, the number of potential candidates has vastly increased. So in some ways, the bar is higher than ever, LinkedIn’s Dan Shapero says.

“Since recruiters can now proactively find relevant candidates, they have more choices and can be more selective,” Shapero says. “Rather than sifting through hundreds of irrelevant résumés, a recruiter can selectively choose who to target and find the best candidate for a job.”

“As a result, recruiters now expect candidates to have a professional presence online that showcases their professional brand,” Shapero says. “It’s in candidates’ best interest to showcase their professional brands online because the majority of recruiters no longer post requisitions on job boards and pray that relevant candidates will apply. They’re using recruiting products to proactively search professional sites, like LinkedIn, to find the best and brightest.”


Social and emotional intelligence is essential

Raw analytic power isn’t everything. And the need to work well with others isn’t just needed for those in customer service.

Knack has found that one of the major things that correlates with success across just about any job is social intelligence.

“One way to think about it is that everything we do, and try to achieve inside organisations, requires interactions with others,” CEO Guy Halfteck says. “Whether you’re an innovator, a physician, a teacher, a retailer, or a salesperson, your social abilities, being able to intelligently manage the social landscape, intelligently respond to other people, read the social situation and reason with social savviness — this turns out to differentiate between people who do better and people who don’t do as well.”

If you come up with an innovative idea, it likely won’t go anywhere if you can’t convince anybody. It’s not just about creativity.

Knack measures aspects of social intelligence, with, among other things, a game called “Wasabi Waiter” where job applicants play as a server and are measured on how well they read social and emotional signals.


A diverse background helps people adapt to new places

One of the most difficult jobs to fill for oil companies are production roles — the ones where people spend years out in the field, often living in the desert.

When one oil company looked at the data for who stuck these jobs out and succeeded, they found surprising results, Josh Bersin says.

The company started out the traditional way, looking for people with petroleum degrees, good academic credentials, and so on. But when they looked at the data, that didn’t predict success.

“The head of recruiting found out that the people who were surviving in these jobs — and these are jobs where the turnover rate was very very high — were mostly people who had come from families that had multicultural parents, parents that had international experience,” Bersin says. “They grew up in a climate with lots of different types of people around, which wouldn’t necessarily be true depending on your college.”

Another interesting find? The most successful people had played sports in college too.


Employees who are wired to like others

One theatre chain that Josh Bersin worked with found a surprising amount of variation in concession sales from theatre to theatre. When they tried to track down the cause, they found that employees were happier at the high-grossing theatres, and that customers were more satisfied.

Naturally, they tried to boost that in all of their stores by training everybody in better service, but six to nine months of training didn’t produce results. It wasn’t the training, it was the people, the head of HR discovered.

“There are people who are wired to be in customers service; they like it, they like people. There are others who aren’t,” Bersin says.

The company’s hiring practices were based on the usual: grades and credentials and degrees. They tweaked their screening criteria and pre-hire assessment to focus on whether people had happy personalities, enjoyed being around people, and liked serving others. The return on that investment was in the millions of dollars.


Raw processing power, and conscientiousness

At the end of the day, how sharp you are still matters. And so does how fundamentally diligent and careful you are — whether you always want to do a thing well.

Through the many games Guy Halfteck and his team have put together, those have been two of the constants.

“We know certain things about the world. We know that across the entire set of jobs that people can engage in, it’s general intelligence that’s your processing power and conscientiousness. That you do the right thing and care and plan ahead — those things — and to do the right thing,” Halfteck says. “These are independent of motivation. Those two aspects of a person are very predictive of performance across any type of job.”

Increasingly, a high score in baseline attributes like these will mean more and more as companies look for raw potential.


The Google formula: A sense of mission, and personal autonomy

Google’s been one of the pioneers of the movement towards bringing data to HR, with an entire department devoted to “people analytics.”

According to a recent New York Times piece, the most innovative workers had “a strong sense of mission about their work,” and feel like they have personal autonomy.

These uses of data are still in their infancy. But in time, leadership, management, and productivity are going to be less of a mystery, and more of a science.


Read original article here.

What do you think? Do you possess any of these attributes?

Do share your thoughts in the comments section.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell