Skills employers want in their leadership and managerial teams

As we progress through an increasingly globalised and adaptable 21st century, management is changing rapidly. Employers require a complex set of skills for their workforce. Gone are the days where experience alone would lead to success. To become an enviable applicant in today’s market, you need a combination of knowledge (including about employment law), creativity and practical experience. However, once you’ve got the inside scoop, you’ll be able to highlight how your experience can be applicable to almost any management role. Here’s the rundown on the top skills employers are demanding, and how they can be applied to jobs you’re already doing.


Without a doubt, knowing how to do the job is still the number one criterion for employers. But aptitude doesn’t have to mean previous experience in the exact role. The corporate sector values flexibility in its managers. An even more effective demonstration of aptitude lies in highlighting how your previous skills and experience can translate into the know-how needed to succeed in your next venture.

The good news is that aptitude is easy to apply to any workplace. Confidence is key. When you know your stuff, and not afraid to demonstrate that, you’ll earn the respect of both colleagues and bosses. Making the commitment to knowing your industry (and any potential new ones) will provide significant returns when you seek out that promotion or career change.


Trust is a quintessential factor for any workplace. Particularly in the corporate world, employers, colleagues and those reporting to you need to be able to trust your judgement. Managers who succeed long term are the ones who carefully consider the outcomes and potential pitfalls of every decision.

Cultivating good judgement takes time and experience. As you learn from your own mistakes, and those of others, you develop better decision-making skills. Increased knowledge can improve your judgement, but so can experience. If you’re not a key decision-maker yet, ask others around you how they best utilise their judgement. Consider hypotheticals and practice understanding what you’d do in any given situation. Who knows – it could only take one good decision for employers to see your management potential.


Great leaders always have a plan. Understanding where you and your team need to go, and how you’re going to get there, is essential to success. Whether it be a large project or merely to improve next month’s sales targets, making goals and sticking to them is an important skill to cultivate. Even more essential is the ability to communicate these goals, and inspire your team towards achieving them.


None of us are perfect, and it’s unlikely that you will ever meet 100% of the job criteria. But that’s not what employers are looking for. The ideal candidate is not always someone who can walk straight into the role, but the one who has the potential to do great things in that position. We’ve all got the potential – the difference is those who succeed make it known. Don’t be afraid to sell your positive traits. Demonstrate what you can do with an opportunity, and it’s likely to become yours.

Update your skills and position yourself as the best candidate for any management role with RMIT's Master of Human Resources Management. Learn more about our leading online programs or speak to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 701 171.