Ronan Campbell from Apollo Training has insider advice about the type of people that employers want to hire today.

A friend of mine recently changed her job after twelve years with the same company. She felt that she had gone as far as she could and wanted a change.

When she excitingly told me about her new job, she added that she had been unsuccessful in seven previous interviews before she landed her new position.

This surprised me and got me thinking about what employers actually want today and to be honest, I’m not quite sure. So I reached to three people who do and got their opinions.


Charlie Cavanagh, Managing Director at Cavanagh, Hooper and Dolan

Charlie Cavanagh

“In our experience at Cavanagh Hopper Dolan Insurances, a great employee is someone with a friendly and approachable attitude who is hardworking and honest.

“They show initiative, have great attention to detail, good time keeping skills and have pride in their own work.

“They strive to continuously improve themselves and the service we offer. They are dynamic in their approach to work and capable of adapting to an ever-changing work environment.”


Robert Fullerton, General Manager & Talent Acquisition Specialist  of Network Recruitment (Part of The Workspace Group)

Robert Fullerton

“What an employer looks for in an employee varies from role to role, industry to industry, but, fundamentally, there are certain key attributes that are highly transferable and much sought after across the board.

“Business owners, leaders and managers have shifted away from the “hard skills” mindset to that of the “soft skills” mindset, soft skills are integral to allow a business to flourish and deliver on their objectives.

“One key “soft skill” that every employer looks for in the current climate is flexibility. With the explosion of mobile email over the last decade, it has become increasingly more common for employees to set their work email up on their smart phones to allow them to work remotely, this has been a real winner for employers as it speeds up productivity for both the employer and the employee.

“The shift in culture is no longer the old 9-5, Monday to Friday but one where businesses have had to become more responsive to sustain their place in the market and adapt/grow. A recent survey showed that within 4 key sectors that a staggering 72% of candidates interviewed were asked a question relating to flexibility in the workplace in some shape or form.”


Catherine Monahan, Director of Human Resources at Lough Eske Castle, a Solis Hotel & Spa

Catherine Monahan

“Hospitality is all about people. Guests will only return to a property if they have received exceptional service. Therefore we look for employees that have strong people acumen, that smile naturally, have a positive attitude, that are caring and empathetic and that interact enthusiastically with others.  

“Excellent attendance and timekeeping, being honest, dependable and trustworthy is extremely important as is having great attention to detail, being organised and wanting to do their best and do things properly. We look for employees that want to help others to ensure they have memorable experiences with us.”

After receiving the feedback I showed it to my friend. She smiled and said “I wish I had read this before her first interview”. Only from feedback from each failed interview did she realise that she was not placing enough emphasis on people skills, flexibility and continued improvement. These are all mentioned above.

In life when we are not sure of what is expected from us; reach out to those who do. People are happy to help and we can save ourselves a lot of time and effort.

If you would like help with interview techniques, communication skills, training or any other work related issue you can contact me through Apollo Training Facebook or email



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