TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

'Soft skills' rank high on employers' wish list

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Diane Stafford
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 7:03 p.m.
 

Hirers say communication and reasoning skills are sadly lacking in too many applicants. And because it costs them time and money when they make hiring mistakes, employers increasingly are giving skills and personality tests before giving job offers.

At a recent meeting of job recruiters and hirers, I heard several members emphasize the basic abilities they look for when they evaluate job candidates. Attitude, communication and a basic work-ready appearance, topped their wish lists.

Advisers at Johnson County Community College's Career Development Center said the hirers' comments dovetailed with survey findings from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In the association's new Top 10 list of qualities sought in employees, technical knowledge and software proficiency were ranked No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

In top-to-bottom order, the other sought-after qualities all fell in either the communication or “soft skill” categories. They were:

Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization; ability to work in a team structure; ability to make decisions and solve problems; ability to plan, organize and prioritize work; ability to obtain and process information; ability to analyze quantitative data; ability to create and/or edit written reports, and ability to sell or influence others.

These are the same skills that separate A and B students from the rest of the pack. Top performers in the classroom “get” the assignment and do it better than just OK.

Diane Stafford is a writer for The Kansas City Star. Email her at stafford@kcstar.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
  2. Muni bond funds stressed
  3. $2-per-gallon gas expected by year’s end, but not in Western Pa.
  4. ATI to benefit from WTO ruling against China in steel case
  5. Off-duty but on call: Suits seek overtime
  6. Companies hand out perks, benefits instead of pay raises
  7. When it comes to home ownership, Hispanics finding locked doors
  8. Small business hangs on fate of Export-Import Bank
  9. Kennametal expects to consolidate plants as it shrinks manufacturing in continuing streamlining; profit drops
  10. Extended oil slump takes toll
  11. Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator