Do Malaysian graduates have the skills that are most critical to employers in the recruitment of employees?
Finding candidates with the right competencies is a key priority for employers. Naturally, employers expect candidates to possess the specific skills and knowledge needed in a particular sector or profession. However, employers’ recruitment metrics also look at key non-academic employability skills and attitudes that are essential for graduates to be effective at work.
Although employers’ preferred hiring metrics vary from company to company, Talentbank’s survey of 196 employers in (2020) and found that most of the key recruitment metrics employers placed a lot of emphasis on were not related to academic achievement.
What skills do employers expect in graduate recruits? Here are the top 10 critical skills employers seek.
#10: Depth of Knowledge in subject 15.61%
All graduates are expected to have a basic knowledge of the field. However, it is unreasonable to expect fresh graduates to have much depth since they do not have working experience yet. As such, this is not a very high expectation for many companies.
#9: Leadership 19.08%
A fresh graduate may not be in a managerial position, but they do need to show the ability to bring something extra to a team. As a graduate, leadership is less about being given the authority over others and more about leading by good example, managing tasks well, and having initiative.
#8: Negotiation Skill 21.97%
This is needed for gaining cooperation among colleagues in order to achieve goals and objectives. The ability to understand others is important for working out solutions that allow both parties to achieve their goals or come out of a situation feeling good about it.
#7: Creativity 30.06%
Creativity is applicable in every career and not just the arts. This involves being adaptable and flexible in their thinking, and being open-minded and curious. This way, graduates can cultivate creative thinking that will be very helpful in problem-solving and innovation.
#6: Language 35.26%
Having a good command of languages is crucial for projecting a confident, professional image as well as for good communication with clients and colleagues. Having a good command of English is an important criteria for MNCs and large companies.
#5: Interpersonal 58.96%
This is about building positive working relationships. It involves good communication, persuasion, and negotiation skills. It’s also about how well you treat others and the respect you earn from them.
#4: Problem Solving Skill 65.90%
Having a systematic approach to solving problems and resolving issues is an important skill to employers. Having the creativity and the ability to approach problems from different angles is also highly valued.
#3: Ability to work in a team 73.41%
Being a good team player not only means being able to carry your own load but also being willing to take on the responsibility to ensure the team achieves its goals. This may require managing and delegating others too.
#2: Flexibility or Adaptability 73.99%
As many companies operate in a complex, fast-changing environment, graduates need to be able to respond effectively to unexpected changes in circumstances or workload. Employees who are flexible and willing to adapt, and still able to get the job done are highly-prized.
And the top employer recruitment metric according to our survey:
#1: Communication 75.14%
Clear communication is crucial to making sure that everyone is on the same page and tasks are carried out efficiently. Graduates need to be able to effectively get the message across, including in verbal and written formats. It’s also about listening and understanding others views.
Graduates who can demonstrate that they have these skills and attitudes in their job applications and interviews have high chances of impressing recruiters and get hired.