What Employers Want In Entry-Level Employees

Posted by Doug Walker on 3/6/2017


From Boston Advanced Technological Education Connection (BATEC), surveyof employers (2007):

  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Ability to work productively in teams and groups (teamworkskills)
  • Customer and business focus (understanding the big picture)
  • Ability to listen for meaning and comprehension
  • Ability to prioritize work and self-evaluate (self-reflection andtime management)
  • Development of original solutions to novel problems (problemsolving)
  • Ability to lead and act responsibility (leadership and ethics)


Lindqvist and Westman (2011) survey of labor market outcomes for men in Sweden for noncognitive skills:

  • Willingness to assume responsibility
  • Independence
  •  Outgoing character
  •  Persistence
  •  Emotional stability
  •  Initiative
  •  Social skills


Interpersonal Capacities in 21st Century Skills Framework, 2010:

Work Creatively with Others

  • Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others effectively
  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
  • Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the realworld limits to adopting new ideas
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes

Communicate Clearly

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
  • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions
  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g., to inform, instruct, motivate, and persuade)
  • Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as to assess their impact
  • Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multilingual)

Collaborate with Others

  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
  • Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
  • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member


METHODS OF ASSESSING INTERPERSONAL SKILLS,  National Academy of Sciences Report, 2011

• Translating client needs into technical specifications
• Researching technical information to meet client needs
• Justifying or defending technical approach to client

• Reaching consensus on work team
• Polling work team to determine ideas

• Using tools, languages, and principles of domain
• Generating a product that meets specific technical criteria
• Interpreting problems using principles of domain




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