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What do employers look for when recruiting?

December 17, 2013 - Published in Building your employment edge

Employers are interested in a range of skills and attributes when they recruit. They look for candidates who not only have the technical or job-specific skills required for the vacancy for which they are recruiting, but also those who can interact positively with other workers and clients, who can problem solve and who are reliable.

Employers place a strong value on employability skills and often reject applicants who are suitable in many other respects, even those who hold relevant qualifications, if they do not have the required employability skills.

What are employability skills?

Employability skills apply across all jobs, although particular jobs may require some employability skills more than others. These skills are the non-technical or generic skills considered to be essential for people to obtain a job, stay in work, make job and career changes and progress in the labour market. They are sometimes referred to as core skills, life skills, soft skills, transferable skills, foundation skills or graduate attributes. There are eight identified employability skills:

Communication includes effective listening and understanding, being assertive and persuasive, sharing information, using networks and being responsive in negotiations and to requests.

Team Work includes working with a wide range of people, understanding how a role contributes as part of a team, coaching, mentoring and giving feedback.

Problem Solving includes developing creative, innovative and practical solutions, applying a range of strategies to solve a problem, testing assumptions and resolving concerns.

Initiative and Enterprise includes adapting to new situations, developing effective work practices, identifying opportunities and translating ideas into action.

Planning and Organising includes managing time and priorities by setting goals and timelines, coordinating tasks, being resourceful and working systematically.

Self-Management includes having a personal vision and goals, evaluating and monitoring one’s own performance, having clarity and confidence and taking responsibility.

Learning includes being willing to learn, being open to new ideas and techniques and proactive involvement in training opportunities.

Technology includes having a basic understanding of word processing, spread-sheets, the internet and email and an ability to adapt to new and emerging technologies.

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has been producing The Australian Jobs publication over the past two decades. The prior excert was originally featured in the Australian Jobs 2013 study sourced from . Upskill Learning considers it to be a valuable and independent resource for anyone considering employment, education and training, or thinking about their future career options.

Page sources: myFuture, NCVER Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth Paper 2539

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