As a member of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry’s) we at AQR are always interested in the views, opinions and surveys that are announced which give us an insight into employment trends.

No more so than the recent CBI article by Sarah Glendinning  (26th Jan 2016).  Her article highlighted the results of a recent employer’s survey asking what trends were being seen by businesses and employers.

The survey gives some interesting data, with the consensus that job creation is set to grow over 2016 in the UK – with over two fifths of the surveyed planning to grow over this year.  Encouraging information for the people out there looking to find employment.

But what are employers looking for?  Do qualifications alone give enough indication to an SME or large organisation that they’ve found the right person at interview stage?  Do employers even know what they are looking for and how they can develop staff effectively once they are in the job?

Just one in six businesses (16%) surveyed by the CBI believed it was the right approach to tackle the UK’s skills challenges, with almost half (47%) anticipating it being costly and bureaucratic as part of the survey by the CBI.

Perhaps businesses should be looking at what else a person can bring to the job other than what’s on the CV.

Should employers be looking at key life qualities such as motivation and skills or dealing with people and problems as an indication of overall ability?  These attributes are consistently identified by employers that work with AQR as being the core areas in which they are most interested. Principally because these are the qualities which are consistently associated with performance, wellbeing and the quickest transition into new and different roles.

Surveys are useful, but only if there is a reaction from the results.  Yes, employers want the right person for the job, but are there different ways of identifying the skill sets of people who may fit the role but not have the traditional academic achievements?  AQR, alongside a number of key careers services, have developed a Career Management Programme designed to show people of all ages how to manage their careers and aspirations in the 21stcentury.  It’s a measureable way of finding out more about the person sat in front of the panel at interviews – and more importantly, what they can bring to the job as a person.

Once you have identified where the skills gap is the other aspect of this developing those skills .  OCR recently announced the introduction of Mental Toughness as part of their Life and Living Skills programme – understanding the importance of developing personality traits in order to support them in progressing into the world of work and life.

If you would like to find out more about the CARRUS programme or Mental Toughness and would like a free trial assessment please get in touch with Ben McGrath on

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