Executives Seek 'Soft' Skills When Evaluating Senior-Level Job Applicants, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA -- The ability to work well with others tops the list of "must haves" for management candidates, a new survey shows. Twenty-six percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said interpersonal skills are the most important consideration when hiring senior-level employees.

The survey was developed by RHI Management Resources, North America's largest consulting services firm providing senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked, "Which single factor weighs most heavily in your decision to hire a management-level job candidate?" Their responses:

Interpersonal skills   26%
Industry experience   21%
Proven accomplishments   19%
Years of experience   15%
Technical knowledge   12%
Other/don't know      7%

"While strong interpersonal skills are essential at all levels, they're particularly critical for managers, whose primary job responsibilities include hiring, supervising, mentoring and retaining employees," said Paul McDonald, executive director of RHI Management Resources. "Companies are looking for persuasive communicators who can lead and motivate others."

RHI Management Resources has locations in major cities throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at



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