BETHLEHEM, PA—When it comes to the importance of candidate skills and qualities, employers are looking for team players who can solve problems, organize their work, and communicate effectively, according to results of a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
“Employers are seeking evidence of the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace in the college students they’re recruiting,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE’s executive director.
Employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2014 survey rated “ability to work in a team structure,” “ability to make decisions and solve problems,” “ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work,” and “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” as the most important candidate skills/qualities. (See Figure 1.) These are followed by candidates’ “ability to obtain and process information” and “ability to analyze quantitative data.”
NACE will release the Job Outlook 2014 report in the fall.
About Job Outlook: NACE collected data for the Job Outlook 2014 survey from its college recruiting professional members from August 5 through September 13, 2013. A total of 208 surveys were returned for a response rate of 19.8 percent. Of those responding, 16.8 percent of respondents were from the West, 23.6 percent were from the Northeast, 27.9 percent were from the Southeast, and 29.3 percent were from the Midwest. The remaining 2.4 percent of respondents were located outside of the United States. By sector, 43.8 percent of responding organizations were from manufacturing, 37 percent from service, 8.7 percent from retail and wholesale trade, 8.2 percent from transportation and utilities, and 2.4 percent from government.
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