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Four qualities that the recruitment expert looks for


What qualities do recruiters value in their job candidates? We asked Therese Damstedt, expert in recruitment and HR issues at Volvo Cars.

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Therese Damstedt, expert in recruitment and HR issues at Volvo Cars.

- Qualities and knowledge must be put in relation to the job you are looking for. Something that works great in one context may be less successful in another. But that does not mean that the individual has the wrong knowledge and experience, just that they need to be in their proper element. However, If I should intend to make any form of a summary of general characteristics, in addition to having the ability to achieve results, the following four qualities stand out:

Four qualities that recruiters look for

1. Being curious: To dare to take on tasks, or to put yourself in a context, outside of your comfort zone. Wanting to learn how to take new approaches or new skills and challenging what you already know. To have the desire to always want to know a little more.

2. The ability to work together: Something that sounds obvious but is far from it. You are often asked to be a “team player”, but what does that mean in this context? You need to be able to lead, take a step back, give input and listen – all of this usually in the same meeting or dialogue. It is about mastering the art of making everyone not only feel involved but actually being involved in both goals and implementation. There is an old saying, that if you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room. And there is actually some truth to that. To achieve results, different skills are needed. But also different ways of tackling a problem.

3. Being prone to change: Globalisation means a changing world and technological development. Companies need to adapt to this reality, and so do we as persons. Accustomed structures and hierarchies need to be dusted off, and we need to put the task at the centre, focusing on what needs to be done. If we do that and connect the will to change, we will experience personal development, both in terms of our skills and in our way of working. You can be rooted in one area or a specific competence, but when you extend your arms, reaching out, you will notice that you can use several parts of your basic competence in other areas as well. This makes you attractive in the long run, as this means that you can change and refine your knowledge in several directions.

4. Being prestigeless: Dare to admit when there is something you do not know, but you are willing to learn. You do not have to know the answers to everything. However, you are expected to take advice and get help and knowledge from others, without trying to claim credit for it. In the same way, you should also be able to share your own knowledge without feeling that you need credit for it.

What general tips do you have for students and alumni?

- Think about what you are actually driven by and be honest with it. It will help you understand what you want to work with and why you react the way you do in both adversity and success. It is noticeable when a candidate is clear about his or her goals and driving forces. 

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