What Skills Do Employers Want In 2016?

Andre Smith

There are certain high-demand skills that employers are searching for worldwide. As in every aspect of business, a thorough knowledge of trends and business expectations can give you the edge as a trusted personnel consultant. With many different variables in play as interviewing begins, it makes sense for a recruitment agency to focus on the skills that are considered “must-have” in today’s marketplace.

For best results, resumes and interview preparation should focus on showcasing the strengths employers want. Leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and the ability to work on a team all rank high on an employer’s checklist. While specific technical skills are a requirement for most job opportunities, job candidates who possess the most sought-after soft skills often rise to the top of the interview list.

Soft skills

One of the most frequently mentioned qualities that employers seek in new employees relates to leadership skills. According to The Bloomberg Job Skills Report 2016: What Recruiters Want, leadership skills are highly desired and hard to find. While this quality may seem a bit vague when you are searching through resumes to find the best candidates, there are questions that can be asked to target this skill set. Past success in a leadership role is always the best proof that a particular candidate has proven skills as a leader. A savvy recruiter must extract this type of information from applicants who do not highlight this relevant experience on their resume. Unfortunately, early career positions often do not provide an obvious reference to leadership skills.

Following closely behind leadership skills is the desire to hire employees who have the ability to work well on a team. According to the article, Job Outlook 2016: Attributes Employers Want to See on New College Graduates’ Resumes, 78.9 percent of employers want to hire team players. Preparing job candidates for interviews so that they showcase their ability to work well with others is sure to give them a distinct advantage. In situations where an applicant has not worked on a team in the corporate world, references to other team experiences in sports or other organizations can bridge that gap and satisfy the employer’s requirements.

Problem-solving skills also rank at the top of most employers’ lists of highly valued traits. Given the fast-paced environment that most companies enjoy, hiring employees capable of solving the problems that always arise in any corporate setting is crucial for success. One suggestion for preparing a job candidate to answer questions about their problem-solving capabilities is to have them make a list with three separate columns: problems encountered, steps they took, and results achieved. Making this type of list before an interview is an excellent way for job candidates to review their accomplishments and problem-solving ability.

Hard skills

Certain hard skill sets are recognized as crucial for success in many different industries and positions. Computer literacy is one of those skills. A working knowledge of MS Office is considered mandatory for most corporate opportunities. Specifically, Word and Excel are in great demand.

Search Party reports that verbal and written communication skills are always at the top of the list of requirements for a new hire. Verbal communication skills are easily tested through the interview process. It is less likely that written skills will be tested unless writing is a major part of the job. Job candidates should be prepared to discuss reports written in order to prove they possess the necessary writing skills for the job. In some cases, written samples may be requested.


Success for recruiting professionals is dependent on knowing what the employer wants. Recruiters should focus on recruiting leaders and team players with proven problem-solving abilities, computer skills, and excellent communication capabilities to ensure they provide the best candidates to employer clients. While technical skills required for specific job opportunities are critical for success, soft skills are often evaluated as the ultimate determining factors when deciding between competing job candidates.

Gender bias remains a problem, especially in high-tech fields. Here’s how to avoid it: Top 5 Ways To Recruit More Women.

About Andre Smith

Andre Smith is an Internet, marketing, and e-commerce specialist with several years of experience in the industry. He has watched as the world of online business has grown and adapted to new technologies, and he has made it his mission to help keep businesses informed and up to date.