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HR directors identify the interview x factor

Written by Josh Russell on Friday, 12 October 2012. Posted in HR, People, News

Even with the candidate profiling available these days, it can be hard to know exactly what the most important qualities are in a potential applicant

HR directors identify the interview x factor

When a candidate walks into a job interview what is it about them that will seal the deal? Is it their experience? Their confidence? A way with words or a smartly pressed designer suit? Apparently none of the above. According to research by leading recruitment specialist Robert Half more than half of HR directors believe that work ethic is the single most important attribute for employees to display.

Ambition is a much vaunted quality in the business world but in terms of recruitment it barely scrapes a spot on the podium. Of those spoken to a clear 56% felt that work ethic was the most important thing when considering a candidate. Coming second was leadership qualities, with 49% of the surveyed directors selecting this as the second most important indicator of suitability. Only then does ambition get a look in with around a third of the respondents indicating that they felt it was important.

Additionally it seems there is a slight divide between the genders in how recruiters prioritise key attributes. Whilst 61% male HR directors strongly identified with the importance of work ethic, only half of female directors felt it was of key importance. Conversely, when the question of promotion within a company was raised, female directors were more inclined to prioritise communication skills with more than two-fifths of female respondents highlighting its importance; only 38% of men indicated it as being of much relevance.

And while a GSOH may be utterly essential on the dating scene, very few directors felt an ability to find the funny side of things was particularly required – only 13% felt it would have much influence on their eventual decision. Despite this being an age of networking, internal networks also weren't seen as holding much relevance, with only one in ten seeing that they held any significance.

Hopefully the findings will help businesses find more candidates with that definite je sais quoi

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

Our former editor, Russell was the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our former digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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