The university graduate hiring process can be a challenging one: should you focus your search only on candidates who fulfill your career requirements, or take the leap of faith with a candidate who doesn’t, because he possesses valuable qualities that could propel him to learn the skills necessary to fulfill the job requirements?
According to a study by Leadership IQ, 89% of new hire fails happen for attitudinal reasons, not for technical competence reasons. It is important to bear in mind that specific tasks can be taught, but strong personal attributes are an important basis of future success in every workplace. To many it may seem like a gamble to invest on the potential of hiring candidates, as opposed to the certainty of skills already defined by their academic curriculum, but looking for the right qualities could point you to talented job candidates you might have missed if you only focus on the academic specifics. An applicant who meets your academic requirements may possess the soft skills that you desire in an employee, but it is certainly not a guarantee of it. So, independently from their major and academic journey, what soft skills should you be looking for in a college grad employee? Here are 5 of the most important qualities you should look for:
The ability to acquire and exercise knowledge and skills is pivotal. When you hire someone who is intelligent, you are likely to avoid a myriad of future mistakes. You will also be lightening the stress load by having someone whose reasoning you can trust.
Looking at an employee’s extracurricular activities can give you a good idea of what their real drives and strengths are. People who actively seek new challenges, learn new skills and exercise their gifts outside of the required fields are potential success breeders; a person in constant evolution in their personal life could bring great innovation to your business.
Someone who is confident in their own skills and is constantly taking intelligent risks to break paradigms and head fruitful enterprises is a valuable addition to your team. If they are a leader in their everyday lives, they will likely lead your team to new possibilities of success.
No matter how skilled or intelligent someone is, it is their honesty what makes them a trusted team member. Integrity in expression and action is something you want to have within your team, and it will trickle down to your relationship with your customers.
You may be surprised to find how hard working many college graduates are. Their challenges to complete their studies or simply their previous work experience can serve as a mirror of their strength and resilience, which if applied to the workplace on the daily, could bear the fruit of success.
Employees who hold a vision and take the steps to attain it are a valuable component in the workplace and society. If you can have someone who is able to set goals beyond themselves and commit to attaining them bring such altruistic tenacity to company projects, you will have an employee you want to keep.
Work skills are teachable, but these soft skills are part of an ethical blueprint that is developed over time, and is the basis of excellence in the workplace. The right attitude can be the great defining factor in your company success – we encourage you to be open to those who are.