Personality over professional and education, reveals survey
A new survey by small business lender iwoca has revealed the most sought-after skills that small business owners look for when hiring new employees and what impacts their hiring decisions.
With small business vacancies hitting record highs at 575,000 (a 72% increase from the same period last year), the survey revealed that more SME owners are looking for personal skills instead of professional ones when hiring.
The top five attributes were:
- Honesty (44%)
- Good personality (38%)
- A skill set that matches the job description (37%)
- Experience in a similar position (37%)
- Good at verbal communication (34%)
According to the survey, the least important attribute was an undergraduate degree, with only 6% of small business owners believing that an undergraduate degree is important when recruiting.
When looking at the impact of recruitment on a business, 15% of small business owners believe that poor hires prevent future company growth and a further 11% agree that it leads to fewer sales.
Flexible working arrangements seem to be one way for new hires to meet their potential. Nearly half of the respondents who offer flexible working believed that these arrangements positively affected productivity. Only 7% said that it had a negative impact.
The survey results indicate that millennial business owners are more likely to offer flexible working arrangements, at 43%, compared to older generations, at 35%.
Seema Desai, Chief Operating Officer at iwoca, commented: “Small businesses employ over two thirds of the nation’s workforce. Some of the perceived barriers to applying for a job, such as having a degree, might not be as high as some job seekers think they are. Our research reveals the importance of strong personal skills when applying for roles, and the importance of hiring to the future growth of any business.”