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Fri, April 12, 2024

Education or experience, what do employers want?

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No matter what job it is, employers seek people who have certain qualities. Job advertisements underline the requirement of academics, skills and work experience. Employers also look for people who are likeable, adaptable, team players and have the ability to work under pressure. But it’s not as simple as ticking off the boxes to find whether a person is a good match for the job they have applied for. Many other things come to the fore among which today employers also want you to have work ethics and values that match their core values. In this edition of Business 360, we asked the heads of the Human Resources Department of different companies to share their insights and experience on what they seek in new employees, especially fresh graduates, is it still about education or experience in the hiring game and what are the key attributes they look for as hiring experts.
Piyush Paudyal Group HR Head, F1Soft International

How job ready are fresh college graduates?

The shift from college to corporate life is challenging and confounding. There are no set lessons in our academia to prepare graduates for a job. Nowadays organisations are stepping in to ensure that the shift is well-transitioned. On the contrary, most fresh college graduates are ambitious, enthusiastic and passionate regarding their career – these are major attributes that most of the companies look for in fresh graduates. However, fresh college graduates are not job ready when they enter the market. A few organisations are working towards it in regard to graduate’s skills. It is a major responsibility of colleges and universities to provide their students with adequate skills (technical and soft) and mentoring is required (although most of the colleges are practising such activities), and students must also demonstrate a desire to learn and grow.

What are three key attributes you look to while hiring?

Ambition: Ambitious employees always find a way to improve their work and always aim for the bigger picture or goal. Ambition is the will to succeed and the willingness to go above and beyond to achieve objectives. Ambitious employees are the ones who lead the team in future. Enthusiasm: An enthusiastic employee always strives for greatness. Enthusiasm leads an employee to enter the workplace with a desire to experiment with new ideas and a desire to learn new things. This results in improving their workflow. They are self-motivators and need less initiative from their managers. Passion: Passion for work is self-explanatory. Imagine a person at your workplace who is passionate about his/her work. A passionate employee loves the work, the workplace, team members and the overall enabling environment and most importantly helps others grow. Keeping other skills aside, passion is one of the major attributes that I look for while hiring.
"If college books had all the necessary information, we would have a plethora of successful people to look for. Not all the courses one takes helps in a professional career as it lacks real time exposure, and since real time exposure is not taught in universities, experience is always valued over education. Formal education is just a foundation for your journey."

A non-negotiable characteristic you seek in fresh entrees?

I make sure new hires are eager to learn and continuously seek feedback before offering them a position. They are the ones who pay attention, value feedback, and maintain an open mind when confronted with new challenges (task or environment) at the workplace. Such entrees value constructive criticism. They want to develop and do so in a setting that gives them the impression that they are growing continuously. It helps them to have a predetermined learning path and clear career vision. On the other hand, it helps the employer with the perfect outcome even with a fresh entree.

What do employers seek - Education or Experience?

Let us be honest here. Professional experience will always be valued in the actual world over academic credentials. Students often get confused about whether to continue their formal education or get real-world exposure. The increasing trend of entrepreneurship has set a belief that formal education is not the only key to success. If college books had all the necessary information, we would have a plethora of successful people to look for. Not all the courses one takes help in a professional career as it lacks real-time exposure, and since real-time exposure is not taught in universities, experience is always valued over education. Formal education is just a foundation for your journey. It will give you highlights about the things that already happened or hypothetical examples of situations that might or might not apply in your professional journey. Education is an investment in your future which can be secured only with real-world experience. I would rather prefer to take financial advice from a CA with five years of experience than a recent CA who topped the exam.
Kriti Shrestha Senior People And Organisation Manager, Daraz

How job ready are fresh college graduates?

Universities typically provide a good foundation and mindset for a better career, considering employers prefer graduates who can connect politely, analyse critically and communicate properly. Fresh graduate’s job readiness depends on the practical knowledge gained. With education emphasising case studies, presentations and internships, graduates lately are readier than ever to take on professional roles. Also, many companies have introduced management training programmes designed to help graduates become future leaders. At Daraz, we have the Daraz Future Leaders Programme (DFLP) which allows application of classroom learning and serves as an accessible front door for career development.

What are three key attributes you look for while hiring?

Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Good communication and interpersonal skills allow a hiring manager know a candidate’s personality, attitude, etiquette and proficiency. Especially, considering almost every job requires an interview where communication skills are put to the test. Analytical Skills and Learning Curve: The ability to recognise problems, define pertinent issues, and propose effective solutions is invaluable to any employer, as well as the ability to learn and adapt. Having such skills helps the organisation as well as the employee to change and grow as per the organisation needs. Ability to excel: When hiring, we need to align the candidate’s aspirations with the job opening. Doing so not only helps the organisation in retention of employees, but also streamlines career growth for the candidate in the long run.
"One of the key characteristics I look for in freshers is the hunger to learn. The only way a person can improve themselves is through continuous learning. This means not to limit yourself to job roles but to explore limitless other areas of work."

A non-negotiable characteristic you seek in a recent graduate?

One of the key characteristics I look for in freshers is the hunger to learn. The only way a person can improve themselves is through continuous learning. This means not to limit yourself to job roles but to explore limitless other areas of work. One should make it a habit of seeking mentorship from people who inspire them, attend workshops and seminars, read books, and other avenues for personal growth. Whether you are interviewing for a skilled or entry-level position, employers want to know that you are curious and open to learning new things or not.

What do employers seek - Education or Experience?

It depends on the role. If you are seeking an entry level position at Daraz, experience doesn’t matter much. However, relevant experience and knowledge are always great. Conversely, if it is a mid-level or senior level role, work experience is indispensable. Especially if the role involves leading a team. Apart from education and experience, one personal attribute that distinguishes applicants is confidence and resilience. Resilient employees remain calm in difficult situations and often, they use all their skills and strengths to navigate various challenges and still produce results. Hence, personal attributes are very important too.
Khageshwor Adhikari Human Resources Manager, The Soaltee Kathmandu

How job ready are fresh college graduates?

We have sufficient fresh graduates but they are not skilled enough to get a job. Fresh graduates want to leave school fully prepared to transition from classroom to career. A skill gap is a considerable gap between the skills required by the workforce and their current attributes and capabilities. Fresh employment opportunities are getting created in the field of tourism and hospitality, but there is a shortfall of trained people in the country to fill the positions.

Here are the ways they can make it happen:

Create a list of the kind of job you are looking at and the companies you want to apply to. Seek assistance from your college career centre. They have knowledge about various vacancies, job fairs and skill-building workshops that could be of great help. Learn to search online properly. There are many job search and networking websites. Start building your network and join various communities and participate in the network and meet more people. Make sure all your social profiles show professionalism. Try to create a personalised resume format to stand out from the other applicants. Apply directly online, you can find out about the vacant positions on official websites under the careers, jobs or employment section. Don’t restrict your work opportunities based on your degree or location. Don’t sit around waiting for the employers to respond for weeks, but do not overdo it to bother a potential employer. Start early, get a job before the semester ends. With this you can save the wait time and have a job before you even complete your studies.
"We would love every day to work like clockwork for every associate, but life isn’t like that. Associates who are always up for learning new things tend to be innovative and willing to try out different things when needed."

What are three key attributes you look to while hiring?

If you want to help your business achieve long-lasting success, seek out these three key attributes within your next hire: Attitude: An employee has a passion for the organisation and what it is trying to accomplish and is excited about being a part of the organisation. Competency: An employee has the right skills and capabilities to do his or her job, or has the ability to learn the right skills. Mindset: Hiring someone with a positive and growth mindset will energise the team and help push your organisation to new levels. If any one of the three attributes is missing, association will not last very long with your organisation. You will be hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Integrate the search for these three attributes into your hiring process and you will attract better people and make better hiring decisions.

A non-negotiable characteristic you seek in fresh entrees?

Hunger to learn. We would love every day to work like clockwork for every associate, but life isn’t like that. Associates who are always up for learning new things tend to be innovative and willing to try out different things when needed. It leads to flexibility in the new tasks or roles and creativity as they look for better and more efficient solutions for the given tasks.

What do employers seek - Education or Experience?

Both are valuable benefits to the company, which means there’s no definitive winner between education and experience. Hiring the best people is never an exact science. Every organisation is different, and hiring decisions absolutely come down to a range of circumstances. READ ALSO:
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MARCH 2024

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