Want to trade in your “candidate” status for “employee” status? Candidates who possess the sought-after traits employers are looking for, won’t be “candidates” for long.
And increasingly those traits are coming in under the heading “soft skills,” as employers realize how essential this intangible set of skills is in today’s workforce.
“Most companies are hiring talent based on soft skills like attitude and hard work, with the hope that they can train them to be up to par on things like tech skills and industry knowledge," said Davis Bell,
Instructure's vice president of corporate markets.
Especially where entry-level positions are concerned, many employers have chosen to overlook a lack of exact experience in favor of an abundance of soft skills.
“We look for candidates with a solid foundation of soft skills and trust so that the rest can be built upon it,” says Emőke Starr,
Head of HR at Prezi
Let’s zero in on those sought-after characteristics this week and next, beginning with the three E’s every employer desires from those on his/her payroll.
- Enterprising – having or showing initiative and resourcefulness.
Resourcefulness is without a doubt one of the most crucial traits an individual can possess. It’s both a mindset
and an attitude
. It’s a drive, vision, and perception that compels an individual to think outside the box; to continually generate new ideas. To invent, to problem solve, to imagine, to forge a way when there seems to be no way. To stay the course when others give up.
Pair this trait with initiative and a truly winning combination is born. Employees who possess the ability and instinct to act, take charge, and follow through with enthusiasm and determination are extremely vital to the success of any company.
- Eagerness – having or showing keen interest, intense desire
The interest/desire to learn and to receive training. To be part of the team. To dive into new projects. To brainstorm. To contribute to the company’s mission, purpose, and bottom line. To start each day.
Employers look for evidence that new hires have a strong desire to do their job to the very best of their ability every day.
- Engaged – the extent to which an employee feels commitment and passion toward their job
The last time I checked, crystal balls that allow the hiring manager to get a glimpse of how the potential hire will work out weren’t sold in the office supply aisle.
But if a candidate scores high on enterprising and eagerness, it’s very likely that person will be “engaged” on the job. Because possessing the components that encompass enterprising
—resourcefulness and initiative—and eagerness
—keen interest and intense desire—are the very elements that contribute to on the job engagement. That emotional connection to the company, its purpose, its goals, that drives the employee’s performance.
The opposite of enterprising and eagerness? A ho-hum, take-it-or-leave-it, “whatever” attitude or demeanor that will often seep through the cracks in even the most well-rehearsed job interview.
Up next, the ABC List of top “soft skills.”
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