Employer expectations

In this section, you will find the results of surveys carried out via consultation with 100 employers across 5 countries (France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands). The aim of this survey was to gain better understanding of employers’ expectations regarding key skills.

The employers gave their opinion on different transferable skills: willingness to learn, perseverance, difficulty, tolerance and flexibility, self-control, professional behaviour, project management, teamwork, cultural sensitivity, communication in first language/foreign language

By clicking on “Read more”, you can read the detailed results of the study and view data about each category of key skills.

Study panel

100 participants from 5 different countries. The number of respondents providing the data was divided amongst the project partner countries as following:

  • France 24 respondents
  • Spain 18 respondents
  • Italy 17 respondents
  • Poland 22 respondents
  • The Netherlands 19 respondents

Listen and interact appropriately/set out arguments respectively when discussing with another person /“Can organize and structure my thoughts to create structured reports” are ranked the most important among the communication in the mother tongue  skill s


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Want to learn

The respondents expect the employees to have the desire to learn, and to absorb new knowledge. The skills of learning are very important as they allow an individual to acquire news abilities during their entire professional pathway. This outcome can be strongly linked to the fast changing world and to the development of technology.

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The employers expect the employees to be thorough and concentrated on objectives, to respect the planning and to challenge established ideas.

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The employers have an expectation about managing difficulties. First, they expect the employee to know how to find solutions independently and on the other hand, they expect them to provide innovative solutions. The employers want employees that are able to respond to unforeseen situations with innovate solutions in their work environment.

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This competence is related to professional behaviour and teamwork. The employees have to communicate and cooperate within the company with colleagues and clients, knowing how to negotiate and compromise is demanded. These 3 competences are connected to each other: if people are tolerant towards each other, they can easily balance different views and adapt to new situations.

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When talking about self-control, the employers have a variety of expectations.  They expect the employees to be be resilient in stressful situations and to be motivated in their activities.  It is not expected from employees to be carried away by their emotions when the situation is stressful but to know how to react professionally.

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Employers from four out of five countries (with the exception of France) find the feeling of becoming part of an organisation most important. The respondents expect that employees know their organisations values and rules and respect these.

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The employers have a very pragmatic view; they want the employee to take action. To take action is connected with the planning or analyse of action. It is important to know the personal limits, analyse the strength and weakness of a project before acting.

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The respondents’ expectation about the cooperation between employees is very high, they want the employees to be able to cooperate and implement common actions. To be able to work in a team is directly connected with tolerance and professional behaviour. It is possible to work together if people act tolerant towards others and respect the organisation.


The respondents believe that the employees must understand the cultural and religious differences whether or not they have experienced living in another country. Again, professional behaviour is expected, the employees have to be tolerant, understand differences and act accordingly.

the mother tongue

The importance to listen and interact appropriately is directly linked to achieving the organisations’ general objectives. There is also a connection with wanting to gain competences. If you listen and interact appropriately, it is also directly related to perseverance.

in the mother tongue

The respondents expect the employees to communicate while respecting others as well as set out their arguments respectively. It is important that employees know how to set out arguments in professional level and are able to express them correctly to other colleagues and clients.

in the mother tongue

The highly appreciated competence “Can organise and structure my thoughts” can be directly linked with everyday communication. Nowadays, written communication is done mostly by e-mail and therefore employers expect employees to be able to clearly write down and structure their thoughts.

foreign languages

The employers expect the employees to be able to understand and perform instructions that were given in a foreign language. It is important for the employer to hire employees who can understand both oral and written tasks and information.

in foreign languages

The expectation regarding how to express a thought in a foreign language is very pragmatic. The respondents do not expect the employees to be bilingual and find awareness of local customs in body language less important. They expect them to attempt to speak another language even if she/he has limited knowledge of this language.

Writing in
foreign languages


The employer expects the employees to be very practical, meaning they can complete calculations. Being able to extract, use and compare information gathered by others, such as reading statistical data and creating data report are also highly valued by employers.


The role of social media is becoming more and more important today but the employers find the most important that employees are able to find information on the Internet.  This can be explained with the huge amount of information available online. Today the internet provides us unlimited access to a lot of information and the companies appreciate employees’ ability to correctly handle information.


As expected, general use of the computer is highly appreciated by all countries as nowadays more and more work becomes digitalised. The use of a computer is almost inevitable on a day-to-day basis. The type of software that the employers expect the employees to be able to work with strongly depends on their tasks.


The survey carried out amongst 100 employers shows that the expectations in term of competences and skills are quiet common amongst employers from the 5 different nations: companies common characterises: motivation to learn, focus on objectives, team working, organize the ideas, are team oriented etc. The expected level is very high; they want an “ideal employee”