It’s a completely different year which means companies are looking for a whole new set of skills and qualities in a job candidate. Zety, a resume builder and career blog, recently published a new study looking into the top traits and qualities employers are looking for in 2021, where the study found that first impressions really matter especially in this job market.
As the coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed, finding a job (or new job) can be pretty difficult despite the job market steadily improving since the virus first shutdown life in the US in March.
The New York Times reported that of the more than 22 million jobs that perished due to the pandemic, around 10 million remain unfilled as unemployment benefits claims, according to the latest report by the Labor Department.
If you’re in the position of trying to find a job or reposition yourself someplace else this year, it’s worth nothing that companies are apparently looking for something called a “niceness factor” before hiring, according to a new report.
Here are some other findings from the Zety study.
Who will get hired in 2021?
Eighty-three percent of recruits and hiring managers said that they consider a first impression a critical factor when making hiring decisions, according to the study, which polled more than 200 US recruiters.
If the first impression is such an important measure of how the rest of the hiring process goes, it’s important to consider the study’s niceness factor, which basically means projecting confidence and trustworthiness at the beginning of an interview to get yourself on the right foot.
But beyond the first impression, there’s still work to be done — here’s what employers want to see in candidates in 2021.
Loyalty and integrity
If you’re wondering what type of qualities in a candidate mean the most to employers, it’s loyalty and integrity that matter most, according to the study.
More than half of recruiters and hiring managers said that loyalty was the most important trait for a candidate to have, followed by integrity (49%) and sincerity (48%). Forty-one percent of respondents said adaptability was also important, while kindness and patience were the next most popular responses.
Respondents weren’t as keen on seeking open-mindedness or tolerance all that often; those two traits were the least sought after when hiring for a new position.
Qualities by rank
Hiring managers want different things depending on the seniority of the position they are hiring.
For senior or managerial roles, more than half of recruiters said hiring someone who is results driven is their main objective, as well as hard working. This is likely because these roles tend to be occupied by people who will need to manage others and set an example for those around them. Having a proven track record and being a team player were also popular qualities, according to the survey.
If you’re looking to find a junior level position, hiring managers said being a fast learner is the best quality (52%). Hard working, being a go-getter, self-starter, and a team player were also good traits to have.
For entry-level jobs, 74% of hiring managers said they wanted to see a candidate who was detail-oriented and hard-working. Detail oriented likely correlates with finding someone who can do the job and follow the script, which differed in importance compared to junior (38%) and senior (33%) positions.