Survey reveals employers are looking for more than skills, degree in candidates
Employers say they value integrity, attitude over education
As unemployment rates fluctuate across the state, a recent survey found that it takes more than a fancy résumé and educational background to woo employers into hiring candidates.
Express Employment Professionals, a national privately held national staffing firm, recently compiled a series of reports titled "America Employed," including survey findings showing which values employers consider the most when hiring new employees. While many candidates are graduating or going back to school to enhance their skills, the survey showed that it takes more than a degree to land a job.
In a study of 264 Express franchises in 46 states, respondents were asked to rate the importance of eight qualities most valued by employers on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important. Among the eight traits, work ethic/integrity and attitude were considered most important. Education received the lowest rating, behind references and job experience.
"This study shows what I've long believed as an employer, that résumés are part of the picture, but they're not the full picture," said Rick Grimord, CEO of the Express Employment Professionals Brookfield office. "Even with the most polished résumé, the most accomplished candidate won't get through a final interview if he or she doesn't bring integrity along with her or his credentials."
Mrinal Gokhale, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said she interviewed at least 10 times since November, and four times since graduating in May. She interviewed at companies through the area, including a few spots in Brookfield, and said based on her experience, the survey results are not surprising.
"On most of my interviews, the employers noted my work experience and skills, but I wouldn't get the job," Gokhale said. "I was always proud of my résumé, but I learned my grades and experience don't mean everything."
Gokhale said after being turned down time and time again, she learned key interviewing skills.
"Once I stop being nervous and opened up more during the interviews, I was able to make a better first impression and show off the person behind the résumé."
Gokhale landed a job at a company in Waukesha earlier this month.
Old-school values like professional dress, being on time and not bashing former employers or co-workers are still important, Grimord said.
"Obviously, education and experience matter, but job seekers should remember that employers aren't looking for a résumé to work alongside; they're looking for a person," Grimord said.
The Brookfield franchise, 17550 W. Bluemound Road, opened in August, 2012, and serves the eastern portion of Waukesha County with temporary and full-time employees in a variety of fields.
By The Numbers
Eight top traits and ratings from employer survey
Credible work history
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