Almost 88% of companies value candidates’ experience more than their qualifications

Employers are increasingly particular when it comes to selecting new employees. While the level of specialization in certain fields may play a key role in remuneration, experience is vital to obtain a position. They are seeking a professional profile that can add value to the company from the beginning and, above all, more than six years of experience. These are the findings of the What Workers Want Report 2019 prepared by Hays, the recruiting agency.

88% of companies value candidates’ experience more than their qualifications. This is one of the conclusions of this study. On the other hand, this preference is positive for most workers, as companies no longer consider employees’ studies as essential and are more inclined to scrutinise their experience. However, it is a negative aspect for recent young graduates who are looking for a job because they have no experience or have spent a short time as interns.

Indeed, the report reveals that this could be one of the reasons why youth unemployment is so high in Spain. This type of profile can only access the world of work through work experience programmes offered by some companies, which then give them the option of joining the workforce. Only 68% have internship programmes and only 55% offer a career plan upon completion.

‘Soft Skills’

In addition to experience and qualifications, there are five other factors that affect a candidate’s chances of finding a job. These are languages, work capacity, motivation, adaptation and versatility; as well as proactivity and dynamism. In recent years, however, proficiency in English has declined as a key requirement. While in 2016, 38% needed a candidate with a second or third language. This year only 31% opted for such candidates.

In addition, there has been an increase in the demand for personal skills, also known as ‘soft skills’, such as motivation. There is also a greater appreciation of the ability to present ideas and teamwork. Technical skills are clearly essential but, at the end of the day, the key aspect when considering a specific candidate is their personality.