According to research by Universum, the following are the top 5 personality traits that employers look for in their new hires.
- Professionalism (86%)
- High-Energy (78%)
- Confidence (61%)
- Self-Monitoring (58%)
- Intellectual Curiosity (57%)
Of these traits, the one employers listed as being missing the most is Confidence.
There are a few ways to interpret that statement.
- As a whole, employees in the US have a confidence problem. Talented people are searching for jobs at big companies, and these big companies report that most aren’t confident.
- The employees with high self-esteem and confidence aren’t applying to the positions offered by companies that are being surveyed.
I think we have a little bit from both categories here. There is certainly a shortage of quality talent for technical and demanding positions. The people with high confidence and self esteem tend to know what they are worth, and understand that the power lies with them, not with big employers, even in a slow job market.
So the question becomes, how are these big companies attracting the talent they want? Job postings written or edited by HR filled with buzz-words and a demonstrated lack of understanding of the core position will not impress a picky talented job-seeker. The more they believe in themselves, the more they’ll be willing to move on, leaving the people more desperate (though perhaps not more in need of a job) for a job to apply to anything they see.
With the job postings I’ve seen from “leading” companies, I’m more inclined to believe that these results are a reflection on big-business recruitment methods far more than it is a reflection on talented US job-seekers. With 86% looking for new jobs, I’m led to believe that employees are disaffected and demand better. It’s easier to tell job-seekers to “be more confident in your next interview,” but more productive for powerful companies to make a realistic talent-acquisition plan.