Wouldn’t it be useful to know what the magic recipe is for all those job seekers out there – those employability skills? I have been reading some research about employability, (Source = DWP 2011 Employers recruitment behaviour and decisions SMEs) desired characteristics of candidates by employers. It is an interesting topic with a lot of unconscious bias and perceptions going on.
99% of employers are small or medium enterprises (SMEs) so they are a good prospect for getting a job. Increasingly many people are getting frustrated with the politics and reduced promotion prospect caused by the downturn in bigger companies. Working for an SME gives you a wider remit and new challenges to get your teeth into.
So what are SMEs looking for in terms of employability skills?
Flexibility: Someone with a flexible attitude to work and a willingness to perform a number of roles
Competence: Ability to do the job properly
Reliability: Someone who will be at work when they are supposed to be
Stability: Personal stability is often equated in employers’ minds with reliability
Location: Living close to work so minimising cost and disruption with commuting problems
Attitude to work: Strong work ethic
Personality: Positive, proactive, good team workers
Honesty: Employees who can be trusted.
This might feel like an obvious list, but it is worth remembering as you need to prove you have these employability skills with examples at the interview. Often employers have perceptions/bias that you need to overcome e.g. younger people are less reliable than older people and foreign nationals have a better work ethic than UK citizens.
With a small company, recruitment is felt to be more risky because there are less people representing the company, so the impact of making the wrong decision feels greater.
The competencies that employers are changing. What do you think they are looking for now in the ever changing world of work?
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