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5 Skills Employers Look For in “The Best” Candidate

Posted by | April 9, 2015 | Scholarships_CareerTips

Source: Corporate Staffing Services Survey

By Elizabeth Benu

A recent survey conducted by Corporate Staffing Services revealed HR Professionals are usually challenged when they have to choose between two equally qualified candidates for the same position.

Out of the 208 employers who participated, here are the key attributes they look for when forced to choose between two equally qualified candidates.

Top 5 Skills For Best Job Candidates

1. Area of specialization
61.6% of the employers use this to identify the right candidate. This shows that a candidate should concentrate on gaining experience in their areas of specialization.

For example, sales jobs are continually becoming everyone’s job: whether you have the qualifications or not. If an employer has a problem choosing between a candidate with a background and experience in sales and marketing and one with experience in sales, but has a background in IT, the sales and marketing graduate will be chosen because the job falls under their specialty.

As a candidate, strive to gain experience in the area you have studied in

2. Leadership Experience
This is a criteria used by 40.7% of the employers. This because such a candidate has an ability to manage themselves and teams and can take responsibility and are accountable.

For example, if you are a candidate who has held any leadership roles in your past, be it in a job or in school an employer will pick you because you can take charge of achieving company goals and commit yourself to high level performance.

3. Candidate affordability
34.5% look at a candidate’s remuneration expectation. A lot has been emphasized on the need to have salary expectations that are in line with the market rates.

Most companies are looking for a candidate who is affordable and can do an impeccable job.

A case in point is an IT Assistant who wants to earn Kshs.110,000 and another who wants Kshs.92,000.

4. Industry Experience
31.6% of the employers are interested in industry experience because they believe that a candidate without any experience will take too long to get up to speed to be successful and they are doubtful if they will make the position a successful one.

Candidates are therefore advised to gain valuable experience, be it in volunteering or internships.

5. Education Attainment
According to the survey, 26% agree that a certificate, diploma or degree, education matters in job placement. Education forms a basis of any career success because it reveals that a job seeker has what it takes to focus on a particular subject or industry and develop within it.

Education also shows that a candidate is worth investing in and serves as a reference to a job seeker’s reliability and professional promise.

That being said, improving on the above skills makes you better placed when an employer has to choose between two equally qualified candidates.