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Candidate Skills/Qualities Employers Want

When it comes to the importance of candidate skills/qualities, employers are looking for team players and candidates who have strong verbal communication skills, according to respondents to NACE's Job Outlook 2012 survey.

Survey participants rated "ability to work in a team structure" and "ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization" as the two most important candidate skills/qualities. These are followed by candidates' "ability to make decisions and solve problems," "ability to obtain and process information," and "ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work."

The least important candidate skills/qualities on the list are the "ability to create and/or edit written reports" and the "ability to sell or influence others." The employers surveyed rated the importance of candidate skills/qualities.

Skill/Quality

Weighted average rating*

Ability to work in a team structure

4.6

Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization

4.59

Ability to make decisions and solve problems

4.49

Ability to obtain and process information

4.46

Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work

4.45

Ability to analyze quantitative data

4.23

Technical knowledge related to the job

4.23

Proficiency with computer software programs

4.04

Ability to create and/or edit written reports

3.65

Ability to sell or influence others

3.51

*5-point scale, where 1=Not important; 2=Not very important; 3=Somewhat important; 4=Very important; and 5=Extremely important

The Job Outlook 2012 survey was conducted August 3 through September 23, 2011, among NACE employer members; 244, or 26.8 percent, took part. The report is available to NACE members atwww.naceweb.org/job_outlook_2012/

Source: Job Outlook 2012, National Association of Colleges and Employers, 3/30/12