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15 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates

15 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates

This article will look at the 15 skills employers look for in candidates. We have also covered a detailed discussion on the importance of recruiting the right people for the right place and some noteworthy examples. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 5 Skills Employers Look For in Candidates

Recruiting the right people for the right company is paramount in the business world. After all, an organization’s success hinges on its ability to assemble a team of talented individuals who can drive innovation and meet its strategic objectives. It is worth emphasizing that a single bad hire can cost a company an average of $15,000. Hence, finding the ideal candidates is a task that goes beyond simply assessing qualifications and experience; it’s about identifying individuals with the skills and qualities that align with the company’s culture, vision, and future goals. 

A survey by technology company ThriveMap found that 96% of HR leaders prioritize cultural fit when hiring. Over 75% of companies rely on gut feeling during candidate assessments. 92% of organizations use structured interview questions, and nearly two-thirds implement specific competency questions to improve their hiring for cultural fit. However, most importantly, hiring failures are attributed to cultural mismatches in 89% of cases.

Hence, recruitment is about selecting the best candidates according to the workplace environment. To read more about the best workplace environments, check out our article about the best companies to work for in 2023. However, to understand the significance of this environment, we can look at some well-known companies that have left a mark on history with their incredibly smart hiring decisions.

For example, hiring Andy Jassy in 1997 proved to be an extraordinary decision for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Under his leadership, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was conceptualized in 2003 and launched in 2006. Initially comprising a modest team of 57 people, AWS became a colossal success, generating billions in revenue annually. Jassy’s remarkable contributions to AWS, valued at billions of greenback, were further emphasized by his promotion to AWS CEO in 2016. As CEO, he played a pertinent role in the company’s growth and success. His extraordinary performance was rewarded with a ten-year compensation package of $212.7 million. 

Speaking of Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), in the second quarter, their net sales increased 11% to $134.4 billion from $121.2 billion in 2022, excluding a $0.3 billion forex impact. Notably, North America segment sales increased 11% to $82.5 billion, while International segment sales increased 10% to $29.7 billion. AWS segment sales also saw growth, up 12% to $22.1 billion. 

The operating income of Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) reached $7.7 billion, significantly higher than the $3.3 billion in Q2 2022. North American segment had $3.2 billion in operating income, rebounding from $0.6 billion in 2022, whereas the International segment narrowed its operating loss to $0.9 billion from $1.8 billion. AWS segment’s operating income was $5.4 billion, slightly down from 2022’s $5.7 billion.

On the other hand, the collaboration between Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Shonda Rhimes is another great example of how putting the right person in the right place can lead to success for businesses. In 2017, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) made an exclusive deal with Shonda Rhimes, a famous TV producer. She is known for her incredible storytelling skills and a strong commitment to her work, perfectly matching Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s goal to create captivating content that appeals to worldwide audiences.

This partnership was a big win for Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX). They gained a prolific content creator, who added many new and high-quality series to their collection. Rhimes also had the creative freedom to create instant hits like “Bridgerton.” At the same time, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) became even more competitive than traditional TV networks and other streaming services. 

Another exciting news regarding the company is that Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) is set to venture into the physical retail space with “Netflix House”. This concept will essentially combine shopping, dining, and immersive entertainment. These destinations are inspired by popular Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) shows and movies to provide fans with a unique experience. While specific locations remain undisclosed, the first Netflix Houses are anticipated to open in the US by 2025.

15 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates



To prepare the list of skills employers look for in candidates, we conducted extensive research to find out the skills that have been highly appreciated in getting individuals hired. We could also categorize these skills among the most in-demand skills by employers. We utilized Reddit threads to gain insights about the feedback of individuals whose job applications were successful largely because they demonstrated these skills.

While our list of skills is not restricted to any particular industry, we have mentioned relevant settings where these skills may be indispensable. These are mostly the soft skills every reputable organization wants to see in their employees. Please note that the list is subjective and does not present the tools in any objective order.

Here is a list of 15 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates.

15. Communication Skills

Communication is that one thread that connects all employees under one organization. Moreover, effective communication at work ensures employees have the necessary information while promoting a positive work environment and reducing inefficiencies. In worst cases, miscommunication can lead to project delays and, thus, may indirectly lead to huge financial losses. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted workplace communication towards remote-friendly and digital channels which has changed communication culture in some organizations.

14. Time Management

For several reasons, time management is an impotant skill employers seek and it is vital for businesses. Firstly, it enhances productivity and ensures that tasks and projects are completed efficiently, increasing profitability. Secondly, it helps in meeting deadlines and maintaining a structured workflow. Two jobs where time management is important and indispensable are project managers who must coordinate complex tasks with time constraints and healthcare professionals who must manage patient care and treatments precisely.

13. Creativity

Creativity is one of the highly valuable skills in 2023. Creativity allows companies to adapt and develop new products, services, and solutions and, thus, stay competitive in a dynamic market. Secondly, creative thinkers can solve complex problems and envision new strategies, eventually driving growth. This skill is a must for roles like graphic designers, who create visually engaging content, and marketing strategists, who devise innovative campaigns to capture consumers’ attention and market share. It is also one of the top skills to land your dream job

12. Technical Proficiency

Technical proficiency is highly sought after by employers because it demonstrates an individual’s ability to navigate and excel in a rapidly evolving digital world effectively. Technical proficiency can range from expertise in programming, data analysis, software usage, and other specialized skills crucial for modern industries. It is one of the top skills employers look for on a resume. Speaking of programming, do check our article about the highest-paying programming languages in the USA

11. Analytical Skills

Employers highly value analytical skills because they enable individuals to interpret data, solve complex problems, and make informed decisions. These skills involve data interpretation, pattern recognition, and effective communication of insights. Analytical skills are essential in data analysis, market research, finance, and management. Acquiring analytical skills can also help with commanding better salaries. It is one of the skills employers look for in candidates

10. Customer Service

Customer Service directly impacts customer satisfaction, retention, and a company’s reputation. This skill is invaluable in frontline positions like customer support representatives, salespeople, and service agents. The annual average salary of a customer service representative is $41,190 in the US.

However, customer service skills are also indispensable in leadership roles, as they guide decision-making and organizational culture. Ultimately, exceptional customer service cultivates grounds for loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. It is one of the key job skills graduate recruiters look out for

9. Project Management

Project management is one skill that helps achieve multiple goals like efficient utilization of resources, timely delivery of projects, and cost control. The skill is crucial in construction, IT, healthcare, and manufacturing, where complex projects demand structure and coordination. 

Moreover, project management often involves high-stress situations with tight deadlines, budget constraints, and the responsibility for project success. It is one of the difficult skills employers look for in candidates. To read more about project management, check out our article about the highest-paying countries for project managers

8. Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is a crucial skill for jobs in fields like finance, particularly in auditing. Employers highly value this skill for preventing errors and improving customer satisfaction. It is one of the skills employers look for in candidates.

7. Negotiation Skills

Good negotiation skills can enable effective conflict resolution, deal-making, and collaboration. These skills are essential in roles like sales, where closing deals and maximizing profits are paramount. Moreover, negotiation is necessary for reaching agreements and settling disputes in professions like law, diplomacy, and procurement.

On the other hand, leadership positions, like management and executive roles, also require strong negotiation abilities to handle complex situations and maintain successful relationships with stakeholders. Negotiation skills are indispensable for professionals in a globalized business environment across different industries. It is one of the soft skills employers look for in candidates

6. Emotional Intelligence

It’s a must for leadership roles, as leaders with high EQ (emotional quotient) can inspire and lead teams more effectively. In customer service, EQ helps in understanding and addressing client needs. In addition, in settings related to mental health or well-being, emotional intelligence is one of the key qualities of a good candidate for a job.

Click here to see the 5 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates

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Disclosure: None. 15 Skills Employers Look for in Candidates is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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