Earlier this year, Bloomberg released it’s 2016 Jobs Skills Report in which they asked +1,000 job recruiters across +500 companies two simple questions.
First, they asked which are the most important skills they search for in job candidates.
Second, they asked which of those skills job recruiters find to be rarest.
When job recruiters in energy were surveyed, three skills emerged as both highly coveted and rarely found. These three skills fall into what can be called the “Stand Out And Get Hired” zone. Can you guess them from the following list?
2) Analytical Thinking
3) Communication Skills
4) Creative Problem Solving
7) Global Mindset
8) Leadership Skills
10) Quantitative Skills
12) Strategic Thinking
13) Work Collaboratively
14) Work Experience
For starters, those surveyed view analytical thinking to be the most important skill. However, they also find it to be common enough among candidates that it does not fall into our magic “Stand Out And Get Hired” zone. So which three do?
Creative Problem Solving? Entrepreneurship? Motivation/Drive?
Nope. Nope. Anddddd nope.
It turns out energy recruiters are desperately searching for, and failing to find, candidates emphasizing the strengths of:
1) communication skills,
2) strategic thinking,
and 3) leadership skills
It is worth noting the survey focused on recruiting managers (i.e., MBA talent), but if you are looking for an entry-level job do not make the mistake of thinking these preferences do not apply to you. Unless specifically stated otherwise, most companies really are looking for young hires to learn and grow in the company over time. To grow, say, into a manager. The resources saved by hiring you once versus hiring multiple people multiple times for multiple positions is obvious. Thus, most we have spoken with have said they look for similar, if not the same, traits in entry level hires as they do in managers, because that’s what they hope you have the potential to become.
You might be surprised to see communication skills in the “Stand Out And Get Hired” magic zone, because many, including myself, have at times mocked communication skills as a sort of fuzzy-not-really-a-skill also known as “talking to people”.
However, over time my own experiences in the professional world have slowly led me to the inescapable conclusion that – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – there is absolutely no skill more important than communication skills. Seriously. I know. It’s too long an explanation to get into here, but because of this epiphany I have been reading far too many books on communication skills lately and so will soon be forced to write a post to explain and identify some essential reads on the topic.
In the meantime, click here to check out the Bloomberg piece. It’s an interesting read for sure.