02 December 2022

The old school attributes that all employers still want

The digital and technological revolution taking place in the workplace has changed the way companies all over the world operate. But while working practices for both employees and employers have been transformed, you may be surprised to learn that it’s old-fashioned skills and attributes that recruiters still crave above all others when looking to hire their next member of staff.

A new study from Pearson – one of the world’s leading learning companies – has revealed that human skills remain the five most sought after skills for employers. So while job seekers might be tempted to prioritise dazzling technical expertise and experience on their resumes and in interview situations, the basics are still as important as they have always been.

Pearson have analysed 21 million job adverts across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia to come up with a top five list of ‘power skills’ for 2022 – so here’s a look at what they are and what applicants should be focussing on as they seek their next move up the career ladder…

1 Communication 

Your work calendar may now have more Zooms, Teams calls and Google Meets than physical meetings, and you’re much more likely to send an email or use a messaging platform than pick up the phone, but the importance of good communication skills are as relevant digitally as they are in person. In fact, remote working, which is more prevalent than ever before, can’t be successfully implemented and integrated without regular and effective communication between colleagues and different departments. Your keyboard and your smartphone are your eyes, ears and voice, and potential employers will want to see that you can use them better than the competition.

2 Customer service 

How does the old adage go? If you experience good customer service, you’ll probably tell three or four people. If you have a bad experience, you’ll tell more than ten. And in 2022, dissatisfied customers don’t just bore their friends about it in the pub… they’ll leave bad reviews online, which can be seen by anyone with internet access – and that’s a LOT of people. So if you have been singled out for praise for your customer service skills in previous jobs you should be shouting about it from the rooftops at each stage of the application process.

3 Leadership 

Are you good in a crisis? Have your colleagues come to you for help and advice? Are you a mentor and a motivator in the workplace? Have you helped raise the bar or have you had to make difficult decisions for the benefit of those around you? These skills have been around since the dawn of civilisation. And they’re music to a potential employer’s ears.

4 Attention to detail

Some people live for the minutiae. They love nothing more than crossing t’s and dotting I’d, they make to do lists and check them off for fun. If that’s you, you’ve already ticked a big box on one of those lists you dream about. If you’re all about the bigger picture though – and there are millions out there who are – you need to at least show some enthusiasm for the everyday nuts-and-bolts processes that are the foundation of any business. They may not get your pulse racing, but nobody enjoys working with someone who falls down at the fundamentals.

5 Collaboration 

Every team has members with different attributes. We’re all strong in some departments and weaker in others. Share your expertise, your ideas and your brilliance with your colleagues generously. They’ll respect you for it and in return they’ll pass on theirs to you – so when you move on to your next job, you’ll be an even stronger candidate. Tell the people interviewing you that you understand that. There’s no ‘I’ in team, folks…