Top soft skills em­ploy­ers look for

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — As the New Year and dreams of a new job ap­proach for many, hir­ing man­agers have re­vealed the top seven soft skills they look for on ap­pli­ca­tions and dur­ing in­ter­views.

“Many grad­u­ates con­tinue their strug­gle to find suit­able em­ploy­ment, de­spite their achieve­ments in the class­room. Of­ten, they are per­plexed by their in­abil­ity to make it through the in­ter­view process, even though they seem­ingly com­ply with most if not all the re­quire­ments of the job,” says Nola Payne, head of fac­ulty: In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy at The In­de­pen­dent In­sti­tute of Education, which claims to be South Africa’s largest and most ac­cred­ited pri­vate higher education in­sti­tu­tion.

Payne says too of­ten the prob­lem is mis­di­ag­nosed, with th­ese de­spon­dent job­seek­ers fo­cus­ing en­tirely on ex­ter­nal fac­tors for their fail­ure to launch, rather than do­ing the more dif­fi­cult in­tro­spec­tion re­quired to de­ter­mine what might be lack­ing from their CV or their in­ter­view skills.

The IIE’S ca­reers cen­tres fo­cus on as­sist­ing and plac­ing stu­dents af­ter grad­u­a­tion, and a large fo­cus of IIE cur­ric­ula in­cludes ap­ply­ing in­sights gained from th­ese cen­tres to make grad­u­ates job-ready. In a re­cent sur­vey among some of SA’S top hir­ing man­agers, it re­vealed the 7 top soft skills man­agers look for in new re­cruits.

Payne says ap­pli­cants who re­peat­edly en­counter a brick wall should check that they are not shoot­ing them­selves in the foot by pay­ing at­ten­tion only to their education and not to their per­sonal brand holis­ti­cally.

“A soft skill can be de­fined as a char­ac­ter­is­tic that is not learnt in the class­room but rather iden­ti­fied and then worked on by an in­di­vid­ual,” she ex­plains.

“Vir­tu­ally all man­agers hir­ing grad­u­ates agree that the most im­por­tant soft skills in their book are a pos­i­tive work ethic, a good at­ti­tude, and the de­sire and re­cep­tive­ness to learn and grow.

“It’s easy for em­ploy­ers to find peo­ple with hard skills — those taught at univer­sity or school or learnt on the job, such as how to op­er­ate ma­chin­ery, how to draw up a bal­ance sheet or how to pro­gram a com­puter.

“But man­agers iden­ti­fied the most valu­able em­ploy­ees as be­ing those who can grow into a po­si­tion and adapt and learn as the busi­ness changes.”

Payne says job ap­pli­cants should study the fol­low­ing list of cov­eted soft skills, to see where they match up and where they need to do some more work.

Flex­i­bil­ity: The abil­ity to learn and par­tic­i­pate in ar­eas where you may not be pro­fi­cient, but are com­fort­able at­tempt­ing to learn and get in­volved

Self-man­age­ment: Can­di­dates who are able to plan, or­gan­ise and work re­spon­si­bly while man­ag­ing stress lev­els. The abil­ity to re­main calm and pro­fes­sional. The abil­ity to re­strain your­self from con­tin­u­ously ac­cess­ing so­cial me­dia sites and to rep­re­sent your own per­sonal brand on the in­ter­net in a pro­fes­sional man­ner. Time man­age­ment: The abil­ity to meet dead­lines and pace your­self so that you don’t have pe­ri­ods of in­ac­tiv­ity and pe­ri­ods of chaos.

Pos­i­tive work ethic: The will­ing­ness to put in ex­tra work­ing hours when nec­es­sary, and be re­spon­si­ble with your sick leave and work­ing hours. Gra­ciously ac­cept­ing feed­back on the job you’re do­ing and ap­ply­ing the lessons learnt. This fos­ters pro­fes­sional growth.

Will­ing­ness to be ac­count­able: In or­der to progress and be pro­moted to more se­nior po­si­tions, you need to demon­strate that you are pre­pared to be ac­count­able for your work out­put. Should any­thing go wrong, you will ad­mit and cor­rect the er­ror and not blame it on some­one else.

Prob­lem solv­ing and cre­ativ­ity: Th­ese are crit­i­cal when un­ex­pected prob­lems arise and you are re­quired to be re­source­ful to solve the prob­lem.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and team work: The abil­ity to be so­cially adept and work com­fort­ably and pro­duc­tively with a va­ri­ety of peo­ple ir­re­spec­tive of gen­der, race or cul­ture. To be able to lis­ten, re­spond and in­ter­act within a team.

“Most im­por­tantly, make sure that you high­light your mas­tery of th­ese skills dur­ing the in­ter­view process, and ap­ply and grow them once you’ve landed the po­si­tion,” says Payne. — IOL

Com­pa­nies want an en­thu­sis­tic em­ployee.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.