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The Skills and Qualities Employers Want in Their Class of 2013 Recruits

 Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
October 24, 2012
 

What skills and qualities are employers seeking in the graduates they’re recruiting from the Class of 2013? Above all, they’re looking to hire candidates with outstanding communication skills and who are team players, according to results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 survey.

The top five skills/qualities employers report seeking are the same as last year, although the order has been somewhat shuffled.

In this year’s survey, participants rated “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” (second in Job Outlook 2012) and “ability to work in a team structure” (first in Job Outlook 2012) as the two most important candidate skills/qualities.

These are followed by candidates’ “ability to make decisions and solve problems,” “ability to obtain and process information,” (fifth in Job Outlook 2012) and “ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work” (fourth in Job Outlook 2012).

And like last year, the least important candidate skills/qualities on the list are the “ability to create and/or edit written reports” and the “ability to sell or influence others.”

Following is the list of the employer ratings from the Job Outlook 2013 report:

Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities 

Skill/Quality  

Weighted average rating*  

 Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization

4.63

 Ability to work in a team structure

4.60

 Ability to make decisions and solve problems

4.51

 Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work

4.46

 Ability to obtain and process information

4.43

 Ability to analyze quantitative data

4.30

 Technical knowledge related to the job

3.99

 Proficiency with computer software programs

3.95

 Ability to create and/or edit written reports

3.56

 Ability to sell or influence others

3.55

*5-point scale, where 1=Not at all important; 2=Not very important; 3=Somewhat important; 4=Very important; and 5=Extremely important

Source: Job Outlook 2013, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Data for the Job Outlook 2013 survey was collected from July 25, 2012 through September 10, 2012. A total of 244 surveys were returned—a 25.2 percent response rate. The full survey results will be available in November.

For an infographic about “Employers Rate Candidate Skills/Qualities” see www.naceweb.org/infographics/employers-rate-candidate-skills-qualities.aspx 
 

 


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