In-Demand Employee Attributes: Qualifications Beyond the Job Description

When it’s time to add to your company’s team, it’s fairly straightforward to put together a list of qualifications for a job description. A candidate’s educational background, the amount of experience they have, and their technical skills are all easily quantifiable variables when reviewing a resume and cover letter.

However, many FIRST Jobs employers have pointed out that it’s not only the degree(s) and technical qualifications of a potential candidate that catch their attention, but a candidate’s attitude and approach to learning. This is consistent with the 2023 Future on Jobs Report, which highlights that the top 5 core in-demand skills are:

  • analytical thinking,
  • creative thinking,
  • resilience, flexibility and agility,
  • motivation and self-awareness,
  • curiosity and lifelong learning.

In addition, cognition, self-efficacy, and the ability to work independently (both in teams and with external stakeholders) are important skills.

Source: World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs Survey 2023
Beyond Technical Skills: Valuing Passion and Curiosity

The sentiment that has been expressed by employers is that you can train skills, but you can’t train passion. Curiosity and a growth mindset are valuable traits for any employee, but they are especially important for those working in the tech sector, where being open to new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking can be pivotal to the development of innovative solutions and to a company’s growth.

Uncovering Depth: Interview Questions That Reveal More

Taking the time to learn more about your candidate’s interests and skills outside of their job qualifications can offer insight into how they approach new projects and new situations. Do they have a passion project they can share with you? Can they give you an example of their drive to learn new things and use that knowledge? Making the effort to add these questions to your interview may just lead to adding a valuable member to your team that makes a significant contribution!

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