What Today’s Employers Expect From Employees

By Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, DRI

These days, employers look for skills beyond the ‘academic qualifications’ of candidates. Many of them believe that academic qualifications and experience are something that can easily be found but the right combination of characteristics that help a company make money or save money, are hard to find.

With that in mind, here are 6 of the most desirable characteristics that employers expect from employees:

Taking Initiative. Initiative is all about taking charge. It’s having the motivation to accomplish tasks on your own. If you want to be great at what you do and be considered for a leadership position, you need to show that you are ready, able, and willing to get things done without being asked.

Positive Attitude. Many employers believe that having a positive attitude is more important than the knowledge an employee brings to the table. A positive attitude is infectious. It spreads to all others in the workplace. Also, if you’re a positive person, you tend to be more curious about things. As a result, your job performance is usually better than a negative person because you are always looking for new ideas that yield higher productivity levels.

Entrepreneurial Spirit. Entrepreneurs are innovators. They are always trying to figure out new ways to accomplish tasks. Entrepreneurs like change because change often brings a plethora of opportunities. The essence of the entrepreneurial attitude is that you are able to anticipate change and formulate innovative responses to change that will result in success.

Results-Oriented. Results-oriented individuals are focused on making things happen no matter the challenges or road blocks. This means you dig through projects and figure out how to obtain the desired result(s). In addition, you stay resolute and focused on each project, meet deadlines, and deliver value to the organization.

Team Player. Employers know that their employees are more productive and tend to be more loyal and committed to the organization when they see themselves as an integral part of a team.  Team players show a willingness to collaborate with others in order to execute work assignments and accomplish goals.

Dependable and Responsible. Being dependable means that you do what you say you will do. Employers value employees who come to work on time and take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. In addition, employers know that dependable and responsible employees value their job, job expectations, and their performance level.

Desire for Continued Learning. Continual learning enables employees to increase the contribution they make to the company. If you show a willingness to take advantage of training programs offered at work, attend seminars, read relevant books etc. you become more valuable to every assignment and ultimately the organization. Also, don’t forget to ask for advice from your team and manager on things you need to learn in order to progress.

If you are a hiring manager, are there any other characteristics that you consider to be “must haves” in your workplace?  Please share your comments below.

7 Factors That Influence Whether You Get Hired or Not by Barb Miller, DRI

What is going through a hiring manager’s head when selecting a candidate? There are 7 top factors that influence their decision making about whether you get hired:

A Great Resume.
To get noticed in the first place, you have to have an impressive resume. Remember, your resume is the first impression the hiring manager will have of you. Keep it current and fresh. Also, look at other people’s resume typical to your industry and check how yours compares.

Showing Long-Term Potential.
Employers want people in their organization to work their way up and grow with the company. Flags go up if they see that you like to change jobs every 2 years.  So if asked where you see yourself in 5 years, it’s best to say that you envision your future at the company on a continued success track.

Ability to Get Along with Others.
Since you will spend a lot of time with co-workers, employers want to make sure you have the ability to work well with lots of different people. Also, employees who have a sense of belonging with their co-workers tend to be happier at their jobs.

A Clean Online Presence.
These days, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager found you through social media in the first place. Turn your social media presence into a positive by making sure your public profiles are appropriate and kept up to date.

The Right Skills and Experience.
Having the right hard and soft skills with experience in the industry will put you ahead of the pack. Employers want to know that you can contribute from day one.

Giving Specific Examples.
Hiring Managers want people who can prove that they will increase the organization’s revenues, decrease costs or help it succeed in some way. Provide specific examples in your interview of how you were able to contribute elsewhere and quantify your work if you can.

Positive Attitude.
Just about every hiring manager will be excited about a candidate who is enthusiastic and gives off positive vibes. People are attracted to happy and positive people. If you lack experience and skills, this could be your trump card.

If you’re a Hiring Manager, what else has influenced your decision to hire a specific candidate?