by Joe Elvin on April 15, 2011

posted on boyce recruitment updates,

Survey suggests employers value soft skills over qualifications

A new survey has suggested that employers are more interested in soft skills (like the ability to communicate) than they are in qualifications.

Research by Virgin Media revealed that 85 per cent of employers seek out a positive attitude within candidates, whereas only 27 per cent are motivated by their academic achievements.

This could be particularly true amongst those recruiting for sales, media, marketing or admin jobs in London, where it has been long perceived that inter-personal skills are crucial to success.

Virgin Media’s director of customer service, Phil Stewart, showed little surprise at the results, which also revealed that just a quarter of employers are now impressed by skills in IT.

Speaking to HR Magazine, Stewart confirmed what he’s looking for as a boss: “When I interview applicants to join my customer service department, soft skills certainly top my list.

“Businesses are spoiled for choice, giving employers carte blanche to hold out for workers with right personalities that can set them apart from competitors.”

Management Today journalist Emma Haslett agreed, claiming that employers in most industries are often left drowning in applications from over-qualified candidates – meaning that attitude and personality are often the decisive factors during the recruitment process.