Employers Wish List of Qualities for Entry Level Hires

The news is chock full of stories about employers bemoaning the experience level and skills of college graduates. Additionally, many companies have downgraded their corporate training budgets and programs for new hires. This has been happening over the past five years.  College students are often caught in this experience gap, unless they have had some relevant internship experiences to draw upon.

Employers Wish List of Qualities for Entry Level Hires

Many years ago, employers were looking for well rounded students that could excel with the help of a corporate training program. Now employers want students and new graduates to hit the ground running from all angles. Every employer will have their own wish list depending on the industry, company and the individual hiring manager.  Many employers today want to see:

  • People Management Skills:  Employers value leadership, teamwork and the ability to collaborate well with coworkers. They want employees who have a strong networking ability because they value people who can pull together whatever team is needed to solve a problem or pursue an opportunity.
  • Communications: The root of many problems typically boils down to poor or inadequate communications. Businesses just can’t get enough great communicators. This includes written, verbal, and social media capabilities. These are skills you can work on every day.
  • Technical Skills: Companies now want a high level of technical competency for many positions, particularly in certain industries like technology, engineering, and accounting. Employers want to hire people that can immediately go to work to help them solve problems.  For other employers, their expectations are to find people who have the motivation and ability to learn a particular skill or application quickly. If you don’t have a particular skill, you will need to communicate your ability to learn it rapidly.
  • Flexibility and Culture Fit:  Companies today want to make sure new employees will fit within their corporate culture. Many look for flexible people who can readily adapt to constant change and the ability to work in a cross-functional environment. Be ready to give examples of your ability to lead and thrive in a changing environment.
  • Independence and Continuous Learning: Employers don’t want to do any extensive hand holding. They expect employees to be self-directed and have excellent time management skills. Managers today want their team members to be able to identify resources and make decisions. Companies also want employees who will accept and ask for feedback in a very pro-active and positive fashion. They want to hire people who will be focused on developing their own skills and learning. Be the kind of person who can identify problems and opportunities and pursue solutions without being assigned the task.
  • Passion: Companies want to hire young people who have a real passion for the company, industry, and functional role. They are more motivated to hire someone who actively demonstrates this passion every day. So be sure to publish your blog, write code or expand your social media presence to demonstrate your personal commitment to your field.

What would you add to this employer wish list?


© Copyright 2013. Sandra Long. All rights reserved.

Sandra Long

Sandra Long is the author of the bestselling book LinkedIn For Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide. She is also the managing partner of Post Road Consulting LLC. Sandra and her team work with corporations, universities, and individuals to drive successful sales, career, and talent acquisition results.


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