What do executives look for when recruiting?

college student in a job interview

Two-thirds of executives surveyed think that students are not well prepared to apply their knowledge and skills in real work environments.

Image: Bigstock 

The Association of American Colleges and Universities published a report that reveals that company directors continue to value university degrees; however, they look for candidates with demonstrated competencies and skills in past jobs or extracurricular activities.

The survey, conducted to more than a thousand recruiting managers and executives of American companies, indicates that executives seek candidates with good oral communication, critical thinking, ethical judgment, who work effectively in teams, with excellent written communication and who are capable of applying their skills and knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Likewise, the study highlights that managers think that the majority of newly graduated university students have the necessary skills to occupy entry-level job vacancies; however, the process of acquiring competencies for higher positions is slow. In this regard, 67 percent of executives surveyed think that students are not well prepared to apply their knowledge and skills in real environments.

To address this skill breach, 79% of managers say that their companies offer some type of advanced skills training so that their employees assume more responsibilities. Also, 59 percent mention that their companies collaborate with colleges and universities to provide service-learning opportunities or internships to provide students with real-world experiences.

The respondents urge universities to make improvements in their educational programs to transfer skills and knowledge attached to current jobs to streamline the professional development of their graduates.