What skills do employers most value in Business?

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What skills are most valued in Business?

YouGov shows one in four (26 per cent) UK adults would pick a different career if they had the chance. So, if you’re looking to start over, where do you begin?

New research from The University of Law Business School has analysed over 700 keywords from the job specifications of 30 common business roles (across three popular job sites), to reveal exactly what employers are looking for from candidates. The research highlights the crossover in skills and requirements across roles and industries, helping encourage those considering a career move, or just starting out in the world of business by showing how qualified they may already be for a new aspirational career.

The top ten skills sought by employers are: Communication skills – (90 per cent); Relationship building – (83 per cent); Organisation skills – (63per cent), Work well under pressure – (63 per cent); Results driven – (60 per cent); Time management – (57 per cent); Team player – (50 per cent); Analytical skills – (47 per cent), Attention to detail – (47 per cent), People skills – (47 per cent), Self-motivated – (47 per cent); Management skills (43 per cent), leadership skills (43 per cent); IT skills (40 per cent), Negotiating skills (40 per cent); Problem solving (37 per cent)

The research also showed the skills and requirements that appear less frequently in job specifications. Perhaps surprisingly, “past experience” was the keyword that appeared in the least amount of job specifications (three per cent) – encouraging for those just starting out on the career ladder or concerned about a lack of experience.

The bottom 14 skills sought by employers are: Previous experience (three per cent); Money driven (three per cent); Understanding of ROI (three per cent); Knowledge of purchasing environment (three per cent); Forecasting (three per cent); Critical thinking (three per cent); Independent worker (three per cent); Logical (three per cent); Adaptable (three per cent); Economic knowledge (three per cent); Generating significant financial growth (three per cent); Multitasker (three per cent); Strong commercial acumen (three per cent); Auditing (three per cent).

The University of Law Business School has also shared the roles that have the most in common, as well as the skills needed to close the gap, through a new online tool on its website.

The top 15 jobs from different industries with the highest amount of matching skills are: Advertising Executive and Insurance Broker (81 per cent); Content Strategist/Manager and CFO (57 per cent); Content Strategist/Manager and Stockbroker (55 per cent); Auditor and Project Manager (54 per cent); Accountant and HR Manager (53 per cent); Customer service representative and Investment Banker (50 per cent); Digital Marketing Specialist and Investment Banker (50 per cent); Marketing Manager and CFO (50 per cent); Product Manager and Investment Banker (50 per cent); Social Media Manager and CEO (50 per cent); Digital Marketing Specialist and Stockbroker (45 per cent); Brand Manager and Investment Banker (43 per cent); Investment Banker and HR Manager (40 per cent); Marketing insights Analyst and Accountant (36 per cent); Marketing insights Analyst and Investment Banker (36 per cent).

Looking at specific career skill gaps, the research discovered advertising executives and insurance brokers have nine skills in common including communication skills, relationship building and a confident telephone manner. The skills gap between the two roles however, shows just two missing skills as advertising executives must also be capable of hitting KPIs and providing an optimistic outlook in the workplace.

Similarly, a creative content strategist/manager has eight skills in common with the logical, numerical role of a CFO, giving them a 57 per cent match. These skills include reporting, working well under pressure and strategy development. The missing skills required to move from content to finance include knowledge of legislative compliance, decision making, forecasting and naturally a proficiency with numbers.

For a digital marketing specialist interested in becoming a stockbroker however, the gap is greater. While these roles have five skills in common including attention to detail, project management skills and being results driven, a stockbroker is also required to show an additional six skills including being money driven, having knowledge of global financial markets and strong negotiation skills, if they wanted to make the move.

Commenting on the results, Jo Lozinska, Employability Manager at The University of Law Business School, said,

It’s really interesting to see what employers consider to be the most valuable when it comes to the candidates they are interviewing, but what’s particularly prevalent in this research is how many transferable skills people in different industries hold, and how skill gaps aren’t quite as wide as you would think. This is really encouraging when it comes to people entering new careers later on in life and shows we shouldn’t be scared to make that jump if it’s something we really want.

Interested in L&D? We recommend the Talent Management and Leadership Development Summit 2019 and Future of Work Summit 2019.

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