The five skills every hiring manager should look out for at the moment

Hiring across the country is experiencing an encouraging surge. In fact, research has revealed that UK hiring rebounded at its fastest rate since 2015 in March and also pointed to the first upturn in permanent staff appointments since December.

As organisations’ recruitment intentions shift, demonstrating a dynamic and versatile array of skills will be essential for candidates seeking their next role in the public sector. Particularly in central government finance roles, there are key trends coming to the forefront that hiring managers need to consider when searching for their next hire.

Over the next few months, and as the economy reopens, there are five essential skills that organisations should be looking out for in a potential candidate.

1.  Motivation

Often referred to as ‘self-starters’, individuals who are motivated, driven and able to hit the ground running are seen as incredibly desirable by hiring managers and internal recruitment leads. This is even more pertinent in an interim placement, where there is a need for candidates to join a project, take the initiative and immediately drive it forward.

It’s the ability to critically think and to creatively problem solve that are also key here. Hiring managers will be on the lookout for a problem solver rather than a problem creator. In seeking professionals who are motivated and driven, you can bolster and enhance your workforce to help it withstand any obstacles or challenges that arise.

2.  Technical knowledge

As with a number of positions, professionals need to have a strong awareness, understanding and a high level of insight into their discipline, its current market trends and any gaps in ways of working.

Running in parallel to this though is the need for candidates to have core technical knowledge too. Hiring managers will be seeking finance professional with systems skills, and the ability to learn and pick up new systems and methods of working quickly, particularly when moving from organisation to organisation.

3.  Experience in change management

The past year has been a testing time for people across the country. In charity, housing, education and more, the jobs market has fluctuated, and there has been a need to take a step back and reassess the situation we all face.

Many projects will have been paused, changed or extended, and perhaps even cancelled altogether, meaning that professionals have had to learn very quickly how to remain buoyant through challenging periods. It is this resilience that hiring managers are still looking to see.

Charities in particular have faced huge cuts and therefore will have to make changes to their structure if they are to continue - many already have - and so they will be looking for individuals who have gone through change management programmes as they have the skills and experience, they need to be able to do similar programmes themselves. With this in mind, having experience in change management will therefore be seen as essential moving forward.

4.  Adaptability

Tying in closely with change management experience is the core skill of adaptability. Organisations today are searching for candidates that can keep pace with, and mirror the fast-paced, dynamic nature of their work, particularly on the interim side of the business.

While adaptability is a soft skill, drawing on a person’s ability to be able to rapidly learn new skills in response to quickly changing circumstances, it is a critical one for organisations in a post-pandemic world. For candidates, keeping a record of times when they have been able to demonstrate this in a working environment will be essential to securing their next role.

5.  Communication

It has been over a year since the official stay at home order was introduced, with employees for the most part working remotely in that time. One core skill that many individuals will have been able to develop during that time is the true ability to be able to work autonomously.

This is an advantageous skill but should also be balanced well with communicating effectively to the rest of the team. Hiring managers should be seeking strong communicators who can regularly update and inform reporting lines and managers, while engaging with junior members of the team too.

It’s no longer enough for professionals to stick to what they know. Of course, playing to their strengths and sticking to where their experience lies is key, but hiring managers are looking for a range of new, dynamic skills that will place them above the noise in what continues to be an employer-led market.

If you’re searching for the right individual for your organisation, then get in touch today to see how our consultants can support you.

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