Employers: Verbal Communication Most Important Candidate Skill

February 24, 2016 | By NACE Staff

COMPETENCIES
two people using a tablet

TAGS: competencies, nace insights, surveys,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

When asked to assess candidate skills/qualities, employers rated verbal communication skills the most important, according to NACE's Job Outlook 2016 report.

Employers rated verbal communication skills (4.63 on a five-point scale) highest this year, above teamwork (4.62) and the ability to make decisions and solve problems (4.49), the two skills that tied for the top spot last year.

The remainder of the list has not changed at all in terms of order compared to last year. The one difference this year is that more of the skills/qualities were rated just below 4.0 ("very important") than last year. Just two skills/qualities were rated below 4.0 last year—ability to create and/or edit written reports and the ability to sell or influence others.

While those two remain at the bottom of this year's list, they are joined by technical knowledge related to the job and proficiency with computer software programs with ratings under 4.0.

The Job Outlook 2016 survey was conducted from August 5, 2015, through September 13, 2015, among NACE employer members. A total of 201 NACE employer members participated in the survey—a 20.1 percent response rate.

NACE members can access the Job Outlook 2016 report through MyNACE.

Results of the annual Job Outlook survey—especially employer insight into the skills they seek in new college graduate job candidates—served as one of the foundation pieces upon which NACE constructed its Career Readiness Competencies.

Figure 1: Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities

Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
Ability to work in a team structure
Weighted Average Rating4.62
Ability to make decisions and solve problems
Weighted Average Rating4.49
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
Weighted Average Rating4.41
Ability to obtain and process information
Weighted Average Rating4.34
Ability to analyze quantitative data
Weighted Average Rating4.21
Technical knowledge related to the job
Weighted Average Rating3.99
Proficiency with computer software programs
Weighted Average Rating3.86
Ability to create and/or edit written reports
Weighted Average Rating3.60
Ability to sell or influence others
Weighted Average Rating3.55
Skill/Quality Weighted Average Rating
Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization 4.63
Ability to work in a team structure 4.62
Ability to make decisions and solve problems 4.49
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work 4.41
Ability to obtain and process information 4.34
Ability to analyze quantitative data 4.21
Technical knowledge related to the job 3.99
Proficiency with computer software programs 3.86
Ability to create and/or edit written reports 3.60
Ability to sell or influence others 3.55
Source: Job Outlook 2016, National Association of Colleges and Employers
*5-point scale, where 1=Not at all important; 2=Not very important; 3=Somewhat important; 4=Very important; and 5=Extremely important

Employers: Verbal Communication Most Important Candidate Skill

February 24, 2016 | By NACE Staff

COMPETENCIES
two people using a tablet

TAGS: competencies, nace insights, surveys,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

When asked to assess candidate skills/qualities, employers rated verbal communication skills the most important, according to NACE's Job Outlook 2016 report.

Employers rated verbal communication skills (4.63 on a five-point scale) highest this year, above teamwork (4.62) and the ability to make decisions and solve problems (4.49), the two skills that tied for the top spot last year.

The remainder of the list has not changed at all in terms of order compared to last year. The one difference this year is that more of the skills/qualities were rated just below 4.0 ("very important") than last year. Just two skills/qualities were rated below 4.0 last year—ability to create and/or edit written reports and the ability to sell or influence others.

While those two remain at the bottom of this year's list, they are joined by technical knowledge related to the job and proficiency with computer software programs with ratings under 4.0.

The Job Outlook 2016 survey was conducted from August 5, 2015, through September 13, 2015, among NACE employer members. A total of 201 NACE employer members participated in the survey—a 20.1 percent response rate.

NACE members can access the Job Outlook 2016 report through MyNACE.

Results of the annual Job Outlook survey—especially employer insight into the skills they seek in new college graduate job candidates—served as one of the foundation pieces upon which NACE constructed its Career Readiness Competencies.

Figure 1: Employers rate the importance of candidate skills/qualities

Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
Ability to work in a team structure
Weighted Average Rating4.62
Ability to make decisions and solve problems
Weighted Average Rating4.49
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
Weighted Average Rating4.41
Ability to obtain and process information
Weighted Average Rating4.34
Ability to analyze quantitative data
Weighted Average Rating4.21
Technical knowledge related to the job
Weighted Average Rating3.99
Proficiency with computer software programs
Weighted Average Rating3.86
Ability to create and/or edit written reports
Weighted Average Rating3.60
Ability to sell or influence others
Weighted Average Rating3.55
Skill/Quality Weighted Average Rating
Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization 4.63
Ability to work in a team structure 4.62
Ability to make decisions and solve problems 4.49
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work 4.41
Ability to obtain and process information 4.34
Ability to analyze quantitative data 4.21
Technical knowledge related to the job 3.99
Proficiency with computer software programs 3.86
Ability to create and/or edit written reports 3.60
Ability to sell or influence others 3.55
Source: Job Outlook 2016, National Association of Colleges and Employers
*5-point scale, where 1=Not at all important; 2=Not very important; 3=Somewhat important; 4=Very important; and 5=Extremely important

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