Eight essential leadership skills employers really want

Looking to get ahead in your career and develop your managerial skills? It’s time to take the lead… 

5 mins read
Leadership Skills Article Header

about 1 year ago

​Good leadership and management are essential for organisations of all types and sizes. To achieve this, leaders will need to have a unique set of skills that enable them to inspire, motivate, and guide their teams towards achieving their goals. So find below 8 tips to improve and communicate your leadership skills.

Communication skills that inspire and motivate

Whether you’re casting the company vision to your team, setting expectations, or sharing joint goals and targets, the way you communicate with others is vital. By giving team members clear goals (as well as a good level of autonomy), letting them know why their work matters, and celebrating their successes, you’ll build a team of motivated employees who know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

A strategic mindset built on data

Strategic thinking makes up a large part of a leader’s role. Primarily, you’ll need to see the big picture, but you’ll also need to be able to identify challenges, prioritise tasks, and pinpoint the best (and most achievable) opportunities within that picture. This involves making informed decisions based on data.

Emotional intelligence

Ever met a good leader that flies off the handle whenever things go wrong? Nope, we haven’t either. That’s because emotional intelligence is at the forefront of great leadership. Not only do you need to be able to regulate your own thoughts and feelings, you’ll also need to empathise with how others feel, and respond appropriately.

Adaptability in challenging circumstances

Let’s face it, things don’t always go to plan in the workplace. This means that leaders should be flexible and open-minded, with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and make smart decisions accordingly. This could involve anything from amending a business strategy based on new budget limitations, or reallocating tasks after a member of staff resigns.

The ability to grow your team and delegate

You know what they say: a leader is nothing without their team. In order to get the best output, a good leader is able to delegate tasks in a way that maximises productivity – and encourages team growth. This involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and assigning tasks accordingly.

Trustworthiness and authenticity

In order to be a great leader, you’ll need to build and foster a good relationship with your team. This means being ethical and demonstrating honesty and integrity in everything you do. Being an authentic leader is also a key part of building trust, and involves a high level of self-awareness and openness. In short – you’re human, don’t try to hide it.

The ability to focus on the good above the bad

Remember: leaders have the ability to set the tone for the entire team. If you always approach problems negatively or give up at every roadblock, this attitude will quickly spread amongst others. To lead positively, focus on the good above the bad. This means celebrating successes (no matter how small) and approaching problems or mistakes with the mentality of learning from them.

A flexible approach to your leadership style

A good leader has more than one leadership style under their belt – and an even better leader will know the right approach for every circumstance, situation, and person. This involves getting to know your team and goals and working together in a way that best suits each party. For example, whilst some people will benefit from a hands-on approach from their leaders, others will work better when given the autonomy to do things their own way.

How to develop your leadership skills

Leadership is a crucial skill that is required in almost all aspects of life. And even if you’re not currently in a leadership position, that doesn’t mean you can’t develop your skills.

Here are a few top tips to help you develop your leadership skills right now:

Give your skills an audit

First things first, you need to assess your current strengths and weaknesses. Which areas do you feel need work, and what do you want to become better at? Whether it’s that you’re struggling with positive thinking or you want to be more adaptable, knowing exactly what you need to focus on will help give your learning a clear direction.

Read about leadership

Which successful leaders do you look up to? Whether it’s in books, online blogs, social media, or biographies, great leaders are often sharing their stories, techniques, and career journeys, allowing aspiring leaders to learn the key to success. You can also attend seminars, conferences, and workshops on leadership to learn first-hand from experienced leaders.

Take risks and make mistakes

If you want to become a good leader, you’ll need to take risks. By opening yourself up to new challenges and pushing yourself to grow (no matter how hard it is), you’ll develop core skills that the best leaders use on a daily basis. And if you fail? Use your mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve. Trust us, no one ever learnt anything in their comfort zone.

Start acting like a leader

OK, so this might be easier said than done. But you’d be surprised at how your leadership abilities develop when you simply start acting the part. This means leading by example, becoming a role model for ethical and professional behaviour, building good relationships, holding yourself accountable, and listening to the needs of others.

Take a leadership course

Whether you’re already working in a management role, or you’re looking to advance to leadership, taking a course is a great way to build on your skills.

Are you looking for the next step in your career? Contact Reed today.

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Hiring fraud is an insidious practice that undermines trust and poses significant financial and reputational risks for businesses. As employers strive to find the right talent, they must remain vigilant against fraudulent activities that can tarnish their operations and brand integrity.

Hiring fraud manifests in various forms, from falsified credentials and fabricated work histories to identity theft and impersonation. These tactics often deceive even the most astute recruiters, leading to the unwitting employment of unqualified or dishonest individuals. The consequences can be dire, ranging from decreased productivity and morale to legal liabilities and damage to company reputation.

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Most recently, Reed has contributed to the first guidance of its kind to help organisations protect their recruitment practices. ‘Tackling hiring fraud: the response to a growing problem’ serves as a frontline tool in the battle against fraudulent hiring activity.

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The guide, fronted by the Better Hiring Institute, identifies nine types of fraudulent activity: reference fraud, qualification fraud, fake application documents, CV-based fraud, employment scams, manipulation of artificial intelligence, dual employment, immigration fraud and fraud as a result of recruitment agency usage. Each is addressed in detail with case studies and expert guidance on prevention.

As a rule, thorough background checks are indispensable. Employers should verify the authenticity of educational qualifications, professional certifications, and employment histories provided by candidates. Utilising reputable background screening services, such as Reed Screening, can help uncover discrepancies and ensure that prospective hires possess the credentials they claim.

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Stringent interview processes can also serve as a deterrent against fraudulent candidates. Conducting multiple rounds of interviews, including in-person assessments, and soliciting detailed responses can identify genuine candidates from impostors.

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It can also help to raise awareness of hiring fraud with your employees – encouraging them to report suspicious activities and provide avenues for whistleblowing. Providing guidance on how to spot red flags can have a ripple effect, protecting both the business and employees from falling victim to fraud in their career.

Protect your business with our hiring fraud guidance – free download

Technology has enabled criminals to take advantage of traditional recruitment processes, and organisations must adapt if they are to avoid CV fraud, employment scams, manipulation of AI tools and many more tactics.

Reed Screening, together with Better Hiring Institute and other partners, have defined hiring fraud as any fraud committed during the hiring process, which may be committed by an individual against an organisation, or by an entity against a jobseeker.

This comprehensive guide, ‘Tackling hiring fraud: the response to a growing problem’, identifies how employers can protect their organisations, using expert advice on how to prevent the most common criminal activity.

"Employers should be very worried about hiring fraud. At Reed Screening, we have made huge progress over the last few years in making hiring faster globally, including being referenced by UK government for our work on digital right to work. However, with the development of technology and improvements in the speed of hiring, we have seen an acceleration and amplification of fraud."

Keith Rosser
Director of Group Risk & Reed Screening – Reed

The new Better Hiring Institute free guide on tackling hiring fraud, co-written by Reed Screening and Cifas, contains a really useful checklist for HRDs (human resources directors) and CPOs (chief people officers) to use to ensure the company they represent has all the right defences in place.

Download our free hiring fraud guidance to help safeguard your organisation using the button at the top of this page.

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​To combat the rising tide of hiring fraud, Reed Screening recently joined forces with the Better Hiring Institute and fraud prevention experts Cifas and ST Smith, to launch guidance for employers. This free, comprehensive eBook is now available to download and provides the latest insight into the gravity and scale of threat facing organisations today.

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