by Chad Brooks
With competition for new jobs at an all-time high, employees must have the skills employers are targeting.
From the ability to communicate effectively to the willingness to wear multiple hats around the office, employers today seek workers with a variety of the skills. Here are 10 skills employers look for most in today’s fast-paced, technologically advanced workplace:
Commitment to both their job and their employer is something Dennis Boone, former president and CEO of Verizon New Jersey and the current director of Montclair State University’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at the School of Business, has always looked for in workers.
“An employee committed to achieving their goals and objectives is a marvel to witness,” Bone told BusinessNewsDaily. “I especially value the employee that, when times are tough, continues to strive for solutions and refrains from the ‘blaming others’ behavior that, unfortunately, we see too often.”
The Extra Mile
In order to gain a boss’ confidence, employees must be willing to go above and beyond what is typically required of them on the job, said Brett Good, a senior district president for Robert Half International.
“Employees who take on projects that fall outside their normal responsibilities can expand their skill set and explore new avenues for professional growth,” Good said. “While you may not always have the time to volunteer for an extra assignment, passing on every opportunity will prevent you from being viewed by your manager as a go-to person in the department.”
Wear Multiple Hats
Kevin Watson, CEO and co-founder of jobdreaming, said small businesses don’t have room for people who just want to do their job, and their job only.
“Employees that will get hired more easily and ultimately succeed are those that show an eager willingness to do whatever needs to get done, not just what’s in their job description,” Watson said.
Having anything but a positive attitude is non-negotiable for Brian Goodman, managing director of Experis.
“Attitude drives success, and people want to be around positive people. It is contagious, and others will notice,” Goodman said. “Naysayers are a drag on business.”
Executive coach and leadership consultant Dave Gambrill believes the one skill that every employee must have is the ability to think critically and make appropriate decisions.
“Leaders don’t want to micromanage their employees, but often they are forced to because the employees lack critical thinking skills,” Gambrill said. “Ideally, you’d like to say, ‘I trust you to make decisions that are good for the business,’ and let people come up with their own solutions.”
Elle Kaplan, CEO and founding partner of Lexion Capital Management LLC, said it is important for entrepreneurs to find employees who are just as passionate about their job as the boss is.
“When an employee believes strongly in the company’s mission, their job is no longer a job. It’s a calling,” Kaplan said. “I’ve learned firsthand that people work harder when they feel connected to and believe in your mission as a leader and the mission of the company.”
In today’s fast-moving business world, the worst thing an employee can be is a drain on their boss’ time, said Nick Gidwani, founder of Skilledup.com.
“Employees should be always adding value, and the easiest way to destroy value, so to speak, is to not have your own work organized,” Gidwani said. “That could mean simple ideas like naming files or folders properly, or more substantial tasks like writing high-quality meeting recaps.”
Wendy Pike, president of Twist office products, said she searches for employees who can be depended on consistently to get the job done.
“As an employer, we need to be able to count on our employees to show up on time and do the work we are paying them to do,” Pike said.
In today’s workplace, communication is the skill of utmost importance, said Charley Polachi, co-founder and partner at Polachi Access Executive Search.
“You must have communication skills that allow you to succinctly and effectively contribute your thoughts,” Polachi said. “An effective communicator leaves no room for error and can exhibit thoughts in a direct manner.”
Time and time again, conscientiousness proves itself to be among the top indicators of job performance, said Lynda Zugec, managing director of The Workforce Consultants. “Make sure you pay attention to the details,” Zugec said. “Spelling and grammatical errors, lost and misplaced files, or general disorganization have the potential to make or break you.”