Industry experience, team-oriented top qualities for new hires: Survey

General operations, sales, IT most in demand
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/27/2011

The type of worker most in demand today is one that has industry-related experience and is team-oriented, according to a new survey.

Of the 184 employers surveyed across Canada and the United States, 77 per cent said industry experience is a quality they are seeking in new hires, followed by team-oriented (71 per cent), customer-focused (63 per cent), track record of achieving goals (62 per cent) and work smart (60 per cent), according to the survey by OI Partners-Feldman Daxon Partners, a global talent management firm.

"Employers are being more selective in the types of employees they want," said Warren Lundy, a partner at the Toronto branch of OI Partners-Feldman Daxon Partners. "Employers want workers who know their businesses and have accomplished goals similar to those they are seeking to achieve. Companies also are looking for people who work well together and realize how important customers are in this challenging economy.”

Respondents were asked what positions were the most in demand and general operations workers (such as customer service or producing goods and services) came out on top (67 per cent), followed by sales (40 per cent), information technology (35 per cent), administration (30 per cent), finance (26 per cent) and human resources (16 per cent), found the survey.

To recruit them, companies are more frequently using social media sites than last year, with 44 per cent of respondents using LinkedIn more than last year. Companies are also posting more jobs on their company websites, according to 36 per cent of respondents, and 32 per cent of respondents are more frequently using employee referrals, found the survey.

While 54 per cent of respondents have increased hiring, 42 per cent are more concerned about retaining their current employees than they were last year.

Hiring decisions are also taking longer. One-third of employers surveyed said it is taking longer to bring people on board this year as companies delay hiring to make sure their business justifies the additional staff and conduct more interviews to confirm they are selecting the best candidates, found the survey.

Employers are also interviewing candidates by phone more often, according to 54 per cent of survey respondents. They are also having teams of employees conduct interviews (41 per cent) and are making greater use of behavioral interviews (36 per cent), found the survey.

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