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Traits that help every MBA grad get hired

How much does it cost the company when you hire a bad recruit? According to tech recruiter Jörgen Sundberg and an infographic published by Resoomay, it's much more than any company should be willing to sacrifice.

Hiring costs, compensation, maintenance fees attributed to the employee, severance and the cost due to setbacks and missed business opportunities are all items companies will pay for hiring bad workers. Resoomay claims those businesses could pay some $840,000 during the tenure of a second-level manager paid a $62,000 salary who is then terminated after just 2.5 years. 

In other words, hiring the right person for the job is critical, but know what skills are most desirable is a whole different issue. 

"Employers value communication abilities the most among MBA grads."

Analyze the numbers - the most desirable traits
Luckily, there are a lot of different surveys hiring officials can turn to for a little guidance. For example, the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2014 annual corporate recruiters survey collects responses from 565 employers across 44 countries. Instead of judging hiring decisions based on subjective analyses given by singular sources from industry news sources, this is one source of quantitative and actionable information.

So what did the professional recruiters say?

According to the numbers, employers value communication abilities - oral communication skills, listening skills, writing talent, presentation abilities - the highest in MBA and graduate business school hires. They sought these abilities in new hires more so than technical, leadership or teamwork skills. Managerial abilities - such as managing human capital, honing decision processes, managing administrative tasks and others - were the least sought by hiring managers in comparison.

What graduates are skilled in vs. What recruiters want
The principles of supply and demand are a strong piece in the hiring puzzle, however. The real question is, were the results of the GMAC survey caused by a low supply of talented communicators and an influx of potential recruits with above-average managerial abilities? How does the available pool of candidates affect the desires of employers?

The GMAC may not compare the two - what skills recruits have vs. what companies want, but the Bloomberg Recruiter Report does. Reportedly, the news source collected feedback from 1,320 job recruiters across 600 companies to find what employers wanted most compared to what they were finding in candidates.

The survey revealed there is a lacking supply of communication savvy recruits across industries. Communication was, again, the most desired skill yet the hardest to find, followed by more analytical skills such as strategic thinking, creative problem solving and an ability to work collaboratively. 

While technical and managerial skills are important, hiring managers reported putting the most stock in communicative abilities.While technical and managerial skills are important, hiring managers reported putting the most stock in communicative abilities.

On the other hand, the most common and least desired traits included many managerial-related items, such as decision making, entrepreneurship initiative/risk-taking and motivation/drive.

One of the business trends that was, perhaps, more unpredicted - employers also noted that a global mindset was both more common and less desired. Similarly, adaptability, while not being common, was generally less desired across industries.

Why are hiring trends important to business?
At a time when more students are going to business school to stand out among employers, it's important to evaluate hiring priorities internally, but the common and rare qualities of the pool of possible candidates should influence employment decisions as well. For many organizations, competitive advantage is determined by the talent of the company's human capital. 

Business innovations aren't supplied by executives providing a steady supply of eureka! moments. They're the biproduct of collaboration among workers, managers and executives together. In picking new recruits for the business, it's up to human resources to find the candidates that blend well with the team but also encompass the qualities competing businesses won't have at their disposal. That means finding the individuals with the most desired and least common traits.

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