What soft skills did 750 managers say are the most important in hiring?
Nationwide survey from Instructure reveals the career readiness of new entrants to the workforce
SALT LAKE CITY (March 19, 2015) – Instructure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and creator of the Bridge learning and engagement platform, today released new survey data revealing what managers look for when hiring entry-level employees. The results show that managers place a higher importance on soft skills like attitude and work ethic than hard trade skills when considering new candidates for entry-level positions.
The survey polled approximately 750 managers at U.S. companies in various industries. It measured which factors managers take into highest consideration when hiring, which attributes they see as most important to the success of entry-level employees, as well as how they perceive employee competence in those same areas before and after formal training.
The data showed that managers place a higher emphasis on finding and hiring individuals with skills that are difficult or impossible to be taught. When hiring, virtually all managers said attitude and work ethic are the most important considerations in choosing a candidate and 85 percent reported work ethic as the most important attribute for employee success. Meanwhile, 79 percent of managers said a candidate’s prestigious schooling was the least important consideration.
“As we combed through the data, we were surprised to find that managers valued soft skills over hard trade skills when looking for new entrants to the workforce,” said Josh Coates, CEO at Instructure. “This study provides a blueprint for millennials to follow as they prepare for their first forays into the workforce.”
The study went on to show that once hired, managers regard the skills entry-level employees learned in school almost as important as soft skills for success at work. The responses reveal that managers hire millennials based on key attributes, then hope to effectively train them to develop other skills they need to excel in entry-level positions. While 85 percent of managers feel their organization is effective at training new employees overall, only a small percentage of managers feel that their training is effective in improving vital attributes.
“Most companies are hiring talent based on soft skills like attitude and hard work, with the hope that they can train them to be up to par on things like tech skills and industry knowledge,” said Davis Bell, VP of Corporate Markets. “To do that, managers have to make sure their organizational training is on point.”
Bridge is a modern learning and engagement platform designed by Instructure to improve employee knowledge, sentiment and alignment to top corporate goals. The software aims to address Instructure’s research, which shows that managers believe with the right combination of discretionary hiring and effective training, millennials will reach the level of competency that is critical to workplace success.
This survey was commissioned by Instructure and conducted by SurveyMonkey in December 2014, polling more than 750 managers at U.S. companies in various industries to measure which factors managers take into highest consideration when hiring, which attributes they see as most important to the success of the entry-level employees, and how they perceive employee competence in those same areas before and after formal training.
Instructure, Inc. is the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes smart software that makes people smarter. Its cloud-based Canvas learning management system (LMS) now connects more than 18 million teachers and learners at more than 1,200 higher ed and K-12 institutions throughout the world. Because learning doesn’t end after graduation, Instructure also offers Bridge, the modern learning and engagement platform that enables organizations of every kind to engage with employees by measuring and improving employee sentiment, alignment and knowledge in real time. Learn more at www.Instructure.com.