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UK – Employers value attitude over qualification

26 April 2013

56% of British employers value a positive working attitude over qualifications, skills and experience, according to the latest research from job search website Adzuna.co.uk. The study analysed the language used by companies in over 500,000 job ads.

It revealed significant spikes in demand in the last 12 months for “Problem Solvers”, “Self-Starters” and social media experts. While Customer Service and Perl development skills are in decline. The study highlights the most sought-after attributes. Keywords were grouped into four categories: Qualifications, Experience, Skills and Attitude. The results show a shift away from qualifications and towards attitudinal factors.

A positive working attitude is the most sought after attribute of 2013, with 56% of all ads demanding traits such as “Organised”, “Motivated” and “Flexible”. Only 21% of current job ads mention any of the skills analysed. While a mere 19% of ads specify previous experience. Less than 10% of vacancies demand post-school qualifications.

The UK’s highest paid Skills and Qualifications are those in the Finance, Accounting and Project Management sectors. Candidates with a CIPM qualification can expect to earn £80,000 per year while those with a CFA qualification can earn £63,000 on average. Jobseekers  looking for a healthy pay packet, should also consider acquiring Project Management credentials  such as PMP, Waterfall and Agile qualifications. There are over 10,000 Agile vacancies currently advertised, while those with a Prince skillset earn over £48,000. Pinterest-related skills are the biggest riser, followed by LinkedIn, reflecting the increasing importance of social media channels.

The analysis also shows a new wave of language being used to lure top talent. There are currently 515 UK employers looking for “Gurus”, 49 for “Ninjas” and even 5 companies looking for a “Jedi”. Tech giants Google, Apple and Facebook are leading the hunt for superhero staff. With over 100 job ads from these companies including the buzzword.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said: “Because we list nearly every UK job ad in our search engine, we have a great overview of the language advertisers are using in their listings. In a weak economy when their businesses need to adapt quickly, employers are looking for commitment and a positive attitude to work and setting less value on degrees or years of experience.  Technical and social media skills though remain in hot demand.”

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