Managers' interpersonal skills more important than experience

Working well with others is top factor when hiring
||Last Updated: 04/09/2003

When asked to rank the most important quality in management-level candidates, CFOs listed interpersonal skills ahead of experience and knowledge.

RHI Management Resources, a consulting firm providing accounting and finance professionals on a project basis, wanted to know what executives looked for when hiring senior-level employees. An independent research firm polled 270 CFOs from a random sample of companies with 20 or more employees.

The survey participants responded as follows when asked what single factor weighed most heavily in their decision to hire a management-level job candidate:

Interpersonal skills – 28%

Years of experience – 25%

Industry experience – 18%

Proven accomplishments – 14%

Technical knowledge – 12%

Other/don’t know – 3%

RHI Management Resources believes the emphasis on interpersonal skills results from the fact that today’s managers must interact with a number of departments within their organizations. Consequently, they must be able to communicate well and relate to both colleagues and senior executives.

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