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Top 5 must-have skills in an employee

Last updated on: July 19, 2011 17:04 IST

Top 5 must-have skills in an employee

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Ben Hawkes, Head of Simulation Development, Kenexa discusses five important skills that an HR manager looks for in an employee during recruitment.

1. Results-focus

Take a look at your resume. Does it tell of your accomplishments, or does it just list your responsibilities? A hiring manager wants to know what you've achieved, not just what your boss told you to do.

For instance, there's a big difference in saying, 'I was responsible for selecting a new phone system' and 'I saved Rs 2,50,000 by negotiating on the price of a new phone system'. Or 'I was responsible for B2B sales' versus 'I won fourteen new contracts in one year, doubling my sales target'.

So first things first, review your resume: use it to show exactly what you've achieved and what difference you've made in your current role.

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At Kenexa, Ben Hawkes specialises in the use of technology to deliver efficient and accurate assessment solutions. He also serves as a trainer for job analysis, competency modelling, interviewing, assessment centres, performance management and psychometric testing.


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'Recruiters want to see some stability'

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2. Motivation

Recruiters want to be confident that if they hire you, you're going to stay. The best source of evidence is your career history. Recruiters want to see some stability were you in your last job for six weeks or six years?

Of course, there are many good reasons why you might not have stayed in a job for long. But be prepared to explain that to the recruiter, if you want to convince them of your motivation.

Recruiters also want to see you have an interest even a passion for the work. Don't turn up at the interview without thorough preparation. Do your research and learn about the job, the company and the industry sector.

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'Demonstrate your leadership skills'

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3. Teamwork

Recruiters want to be confident that you'll fit in the team. So when you're being interviewed, make a point of giving some examples of how well you work in a team.

If you've taken a leadership role, even better, but it's enough to demonstrate that you can work with others productively and with respect.

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'Highlight your education and work experience'

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4. Knowledge and education

Even for an entry-level job, a recruiter is usually still looking for a candidate with experience and qualifications.

Ensure that your resume highlights appropriately any education, training or certifications that are relevant for the job.

And your knowledge doesn't have to be from formal experience. Perhaps you have picked up useful skills in other areas of your life that could be relevant organising a sports team or planning some interesting events, for example.

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'Recruiters want to see confidence'

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5. Communication

You might fit all of the above requirements, but none of that will matter if you aren't able to communicate fluently, clearly and concisely in your interview and in written correspondence.

Browse through the basics. Are you sending a letter to the employer? Check and double check it for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Are you hand-writing an application form? Take your time. Recruiters are looking for people who show pride in their work.

Above all, when you're being interviewed, 'answer the question'. It sounds so simple, but it's easy to wander off-topic. But unless you answer the questions, how is the recruiter going to know you're right for the job?

Finally, in addition to the above skills, recruiters want to see confidence.

Remember that that if you've made it to interview you've already impressed the recruiter. But don't get over confident. You might think you're the perfect person for the job and maybe you are but one thing that recruiters are not looking for is arrogance. Be great, but be humble. Recruiters LOVE that!


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