WHAT IS AN ATTRIBUTE? An attribute is a quality or ability that can be related to the individual. These are personal characteristics that employers expect you to have when you are applying for a job. These can be categorised into ‘Specific Job Attributes’ ‘General Attributes’ ‘Attitudes’
SPECIFIC JOB ATTRIBUTES The employer will be looking at specific job attributes for their new employees to have, they will usually be enlisted in the ‘Job Description’ that the employee is expected to have and undertake.
HEALTH & SAFETY Health and Safety is one of the vital attributes needed for an employee in a workplace. This concept would have been instilled in the employee from school or college. However, the company will be expecting the employee to take responsibility for their safety and their colleagues around them. Before starting work, the employee will be expected to have an understanding of the ‘Health & Safety at Work Act 1974’ and ‘The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’ these acts outline the legal responsibilities of both employees and employers within the workplace. Employees are expected to know the basic health and safety issues around the job in which they are signing for, and many companies will teach the employees other health and safety regulations as they ensure you have a safe working environment.
GOOD WORKING PROCEDURES These procedures include Organisational skills which will affect your attendance at work. One example of a ‘Working Procedure’ is where the employer allows the employee to have ‘Flexi-time’ this allows the employee to choose what time they start and finish work. In addition, this also allows the employee to show how much additional/overtime they have done at work (if they have done any). The additional hours in some cases may be needed when the organisation gets busy with work, the employee may be required to work additional hours, but the company will allow the employee to then take the hours back when the work is quieter. The employee will need to keep a record of their attendance at work, often referred to as a ‘Timesheet’ which will need to be shown when required.
SECURITY All organisations have confidential data which is only allowed to be shared within the company, and the employees are also responsible to keep it safe. Companies may ask employees to sign ‘Non-Disclosure Agreements’ meaning the employees are forbidden to discuss confidential information with other individuals or groups outside the organisation, either whilst still employed at the company or after they leave. Physical Security Techniques include: Alarm Systems; preventing access to certain computers or documents. Some companies forbid the use of USB drives as they allow users to make copies of data. Logical Security Techniques include: ‘Encryption Protocols’ (designed to scramble data and make it useless to anyone who doesn’t have decryption software) and Password Protection.
GENERAL ATTRIBUTES These are a number of job-related skills employers are looking for in potential employees depending on what the job entails. The Employee’s ability to show they have these skills can be highly influential on whether or not they get the job.
PLANNING & ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS Employers are looking to see whether the candidate can plan their time effectively and organise their work, prioritising it to meet their job’s objectives. Being well organised is very fundamental in a job, as it removes stresses of being overloaded with work, and being able to have the bring right equipment needed for their job, if required.
TEAM WORKING Being able to work as part of a team, contributing the candidates own ideas and listening to what other collegues have to share. Being able to work in a team, is a skill that is required in many jobs, it can be learned however, many people possess this skill naturally. When working as a part of a team, it’s important to remember that the role they play is only a part of the overall work, one person cannot control the whole operation (unless been elected leader). When working in a team the candidate must be able to treat other’s ideas with respect and use them in any way they can, rather than just dismissing them.
VERBAL & NUMERACY SKILLS Most employers use GCSE English & Maths as a national bench-mark for achievement in this area. An employer will want the employee to be confident in their numeric skills of Addition, Subtraction, Division, Multiplication and Percentages. Percentages can be used to calculate VAT if the job entails it.
ATTITUDES Work Attitudes are a number of behaviours that employers look for in the employees to have in the work place.
DETERMINATION Determination entails the strength of ones mind. It’s the driven force to allow the person to achieve or succeed in a particular task in an environment. For example, with my coursework tasks for my ICT A Level, I am determined to pass and get the highest level achievable in the work I have created.
INDEPENDENCE Employers need reassurance their employees can work effectively without supervision, having independence is a key skill in the workplace. It helps in certain situations for example; if your job included working in a team, you would be responsible to lead and manage the team. You will have to be able to work by yourself, ensuring that your contribution is vital towards the team’s overall work.
DEPENDABILITY Employers will be looking for the characteristic of Dependability, as it allows the company to depend on the employee to finish tasks without having to worry about them. An example of using dependability skills is if the employee was a ‘Team Leader’ the co-workers should be able to depend on their leader to give them direction in their task, and the leader should be able to give out help, should the others need it. The other workers of the team will also be dependent on the Team Leader to fulfil their duties and contributions to the overall task set.