There is no doubt we are in the midst of a tough period in our lives. I read an article the other day. It stated that 11,000,000 people in Britain have been furloughed. What’s more concerning is at the end of this it has been reported that 21% of the current workforce could be made unemployed.
The knock-on effect of this for businesses, families, personal lives could be huge!
The reason why I wanted to write this article is because when everything goes back to normal, the job market is going to be crazy and everyone is going to want to be in work as soon as possible. This is great for a lot of companies but can be a challenging time for a lot of job seekers because the competition will be massive.
I have run a business for 7 years now and I have interviewed thousands of people. When I am looking to recruit someone into my company I am far more concerned about their soft skills rather than their hard skills.
In my opinion your soft skills such as work ethic, attitude, working habits, willingness to learn, open-mindedness etc… are going to be far more valuable to an employer.
Hard skills are skills that I believe is the employers duty to teach. For example, if you are looking to get into a sales career, the actual sales skills (hard skills) can be taught. In my years of coaching people, what I have found challenging is teaching people soft skills such as work ethic. For me as a business owner, I don’t have time to teach work ethic so I just look for the people that already possess the soft skills and then teach them the hard skills they need.
Below I have listed several traits I look for when recruiting individuals…. Hopefully, this helps
Your attitude is infectious both positive and negatively. You should want to be the person that lights up the room. Having a good attitude means you respond to criticism well (as long as it’s constructive), it means you welcome challenges and deal with problems in a positive way.
We all have someone in our lives that when they enter the room they lift everyone. I’m sure we also have people that have that dreadful ability to destroy everyone’s mood. In the workplace, someone’s attitude is crucial to a team performing. As important as it is, a lot of companies don’t have time to deal with poor attitudes and would much rather protect the group of people that want to move forward then the 1 individual bringing everyone down.
- Low Sense Of Entitlement
I have worked my way up in my career, and I have appreciated every experience I gained throughout my career. I started at 15 years old as a dishwasher boy. I have also worked in bars part-time in between university. My first ‘career’ job was working in a lab. After that, I wanted a career that was going to provide me with fast-paced progression and money so I chose sales.
I was 23 years old, had a degree in forensic science and started doing door to door sales. Although on paper this was definitely below my pay grade, I got excited about the skills I would pick up and where it could take me. At no point did I feel like I was ‘above’ the role.
A big issue I see these days is people feel like they are entitled to something. The biggest problem with this is I see so many people say ‘no’ to something because they feel they’re better than that.
Don’t get me wrong, not every job role you go for is going to be for you. However, there’s a big difference between something ‘not being for you’ and ‘this is below me’. A study published by the Bureau of Labour statistics explained that the average person in their lifetime will have 11.7 jobs. The reason I point this out is because it’s highly unlikely that the job you are going for now is going to be your career forever. So why not look at the skills you can gain from the role? Why not look at where the career can lead you and not get caught up with the starting point. Hopefully, you are ambitious and your intentions aren’t to stay in the same position your whole life.
My experience with coaching entitled people is they are very limited in what they are willing to do. I put a lot of my success down to being willing to do whatever it takes and having the mindset that no job is too small. By having this mindset it has helped attract attention from the right people and more importantly, they have been willing to offer a helping hand when needed.
3. Work Ethic
This was inevitably going to be put in here. As I mentioned before for me, soft skills are more important than hard skills. I don’t have time/ can’t teach work ethic, so I just look to coach the people that already have it.
Work ethic is a well-studied topic and it is the biggest separator between people that get results and don’t…In absolutely everything. Gym, studies, sport, career, health, fitness. You name it and I can guarantee the biggest difference between achievers and non-achievers is the amount of work they put in.
Work ethic is so widely known to be important that most people in an interview will say they have a “strong work ethic” and they will “outwork everyone”. Why do they say this? Because they know that’s what employers are looking for.
- Willingness To Learn
I have coached and mentored many personalities in my time and there is nothing worse than a ‘know it all’. I have always admired people doing better than me, and I have always had respect for people in higher positions. This is the case for 2 reasons.
- They are in the position I want to be
- I want them to help me
Having a will to learn shows you are keen and eager. It shows that you want to get better. There is nothing more motivating to me then to spend time with people that want to get better.
There are several different ways you can learn. I’m not a particularly vocal person and if I am being honest it takes me a while to get out of my comfort zone. People learn from asking questions, they can also learn from observing and also by reading. The biggest issue for me is when someone either asks for advice, observes me do something or reads a book and then doesn’t make the change. That to me shows you really aren’t interested in getting better!
What you’ll notice is that all of these traits are within your grasp. There’s nothing I’ve listed that will feel like you can’t do it. I can promise you this list are things employers get excited about, I am talking from personal experience. I would much rather have someone that possesses these traits with no skill set then someone with a high skill set but has a poor attitude and an unwillingness to learn.