Whether you’re applying for a leadership role or see yourself aspiring to management in the future, it’s important to know the five skills employers seek in a team leader. When it comes to deciding whether an employee could be a potential leader, employers look beyond specific experience and skills for strengths in communication, relationship building, directing others, decision making and efficiency.
Communication goes beyond conveying information or sharing thoughts. A good communicator can express thoughts clearly, both verbally and in writing, without confusing the audience. Being a good listener is also a valuable part of being a strong communicator (some argue it’s the most important part).
It may surprise you to learn that you can communicate without saying or writing a word. Body language can sometimes convey a stronger message than any other form of communication. Employers often seek leaders who are open minded, calm in the chaos, optimistic and positive.
2. Relationship Building
Because people tend to have different sets of values and beliefs, a leader must be open to managing different types of personalities. True leaders won’t be hindered by a diverse group and will build one-on-one associations, fostering healthy relationships in both the workplace and the community.
Relationship building can be as simple as remembering someone’s birthday or asking how their children are doing in school. It can lead to activities outside the office like retreats or events. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of relationship building is being authentic and genuine. When employers check references, they may gauge a candidate’s ability to build relationships by asking how many of a candidate’s former co-workers would love to work with them again.
3. Directing Others
The ability to give direction is a vital aspect of a leadership position. Leaders should be able to formulate directions clearly for subordinates. Direction involves more than just an assignment and a due date. It can often include guidance, instruction, planning, mentoring and stepping in when someone is struggling.
Mentoring doesn’t stop with the completion of an assignment, it continues as leaders help employees advance in their careers. Sometimes, that advancement means helping an employee improve or expand their skills. Other times, it means working with them on communication or organizational skills, like time-management. Encouraging and supporting the team is one of the key pieces of being an effective leader.
4. Decision Making and Integrity
Leaders have to be able to think on their feet, and make decisions, even when those decisions involve risk. However, leaders also have to be able to admit when a plan isn’t working and redirect the path when necessary. Integrity is essential as leaders who hide mistakes from the organization can cause major issues.
If your company is hiring from within, your previous experience with the company can help demonstrate your level of integrity. For those applying for the first time, employers will likely check references to learn more about your character. Employers want to know you’re doing the right things for the right reasons at all times.
5. Efficiency and Adaptability
Those in leadership roles usually do their job without too much supervision so the ability to work independently and efficiently is required. One of the ways employers can tell whether an employee is a strong leader is because they tend to go beyond what’s asked of them to create opportunities, solve problems and improve efficiencies in their own areas.
Organizations need employees and leaders who can adapt to change. As technology and jobs evolve, employers are looking to their organizational leaders to learn and interpret information efficiently, and then teach others. When looking to promote from within, upper management may test you to see whether you can operate outside your comfort zone to adapt to cross-organizational initiatives.
At FrankCrum Staffing, we help job seekers find long-term success. Our employer network contains a broad range of industries and positions including everything from administrative and technology to service and light industrial. As an added bonus, FrankCrum Staffing offers benefits to temporary employees who meet certain criteria. Call today to learn more 727-726-2786.