What Skills Are Employers Looking For?

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Express Employment Professionals, today released survey findings that reveal the top three “hard skills” an applicant should have to be successful in securing a job.

This validates something I hear from employers all the time. They’re looking for workers who have knowledge of a specific field, rather than a general education.

Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest franchised staffing firm, today released survey findings that reveal the top three “hard skills” an applicant should have to be successful in securing a job.

In order, the top three are experience, technical ability and training.

The findings come from the 2014 edition of the “America Employed” survey of 115 Express franchises across the nation. This is the second year Express has released findings from its “America Employed” survey. Respondents were asked to name the “the three most important hard skills an applicant should have.”

“There’s no substitute for experience,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Clearly, training and education are important, but employers want to see that you've proven yourself. Of course, that can make it hard for first-time job seekers. How do you get experience when employers require experience to get hired in the first place? In that case, my best advice is to seize the opportunities available to you. For example, temporary work can be a great way to get that much-needed experience and then transition to a permanent position.

“We also see in these findings that ability and training rank higher than education. This validates something I hear from employers all the time. They’re looking for workers who have knowledge of a specific field, rather than a general education. I think this illustrates why career technical education can sometimes be so valuable.”

What are the 3 most important hard skills an applicant should have?

2014 vs 2013

Experience 96% vs 95%
Technical ability 76% vs 74%
Training 57% vs 58%
Education 27% vs 35%
Certification 18% vs 18%
Multilingual 8% vs 7%
Research ability 7% vs 6%

For more information on career technical education, see the Express Employment Professionals white paper, “Caution: College May Not Be For Everyone.”

For more information on the rise of temporary and independent contingent workers, see the Express Employment Professionals white paper, “America’s Changing Workforce and the Rise of the Contingent Worker.”

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If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has nearly 700 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in temporary sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013, and ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and second largest privately held staffing company in the United States. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

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Sherry Kast
@ExpressPros
since: 08/2008
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