Think Inc.
A forum for Hawaii's
business community to discuss
current events and issues

The makings
of a joyous job

Without intervention
from Santa Claus

Ever wondered what's on the wish lists of employers and employees? As owners of Remedy Intelligent Staffing in Hawaii, Inkinen and Kumabe hear every day what Hawaii businesses look for in job applicants and what potential employees are looking for in a job.

Employers | Employees

By Kristi Inkinen and Marie Kumabe


What employers want

1. A great attitude


Nothing beats a positive attitude, and yet nothing is more difficult to qualify. A positive work ethic and those who are team players who mesh smoothly with the rest of your staff can make the difference between a "so-so" employee and a star employee.

2. Great skills coupled with work experience

The skills necessary for a position are vital to successfully contributing to an organization. Work experience in a specific or related field of interest or study through internships, temp assignments or previous employment is valuable.

3. Reliability and dependability

Employers want to know that you will show up on time for work as scheduled. Also high on the list is being able to trust that the employee will perform the duties to the best of his or her ability, in a timely manner.

4. Commitment to the company

Employers appreciate those who demonstrate a sense of loyalty to the organization and that the employee will do whatever they possibly can to help the company grow and be successful.

5. Professionalism

This is reflected in a candidate's appearance and in the manner in which they conduct themselves and interact with cust- omers and existing employees.

6. Tech skills

Computer skills, including the use of e-mail and the Internet, are standard requirements for most businesses these days. Technology is an organization's competitive edge and those embracing it will help their organization advance ahead of the competition.

7. Initiative

Employers try to determine whether an employee has initiative and motivation in performing his or her work. Those who are proactive and able to share opinions in a positive way are highly valued.

8. Effective communication skills

Employees should have the ability to communicate with everyone in the office, at every level. They should also have the ability to comprehend instructions and carry them out as directed.

9. Effective time management

Employers are looking for candidates who have the ability to organize and prioritize assignments and tasks without being overwhelmed. Effective multitasking and effective time management are valued.

10. Potential to excel and grow

Candidates must demonstrate an inner fire to continually improve their skills and to accept increased responsibility. This is especially important to the organizations that want to promote from within.

Marie Kumabe and Kristi Inkinen are co-founders of Remedy Intelligent Staffing. Reach them at 733-8550 or visit


What employees and job-seekers want

1. Corporate image

Candidates are looking for companies that have a positive corporate image, whether it is from people who already work for the organization or from a good image portrayed through the community.

2. Growth opportunities

Employees don't want to be stuck in a job. Organizations that demonstrate that they promote from within provide incentives for employees to strive to perform well and to learn new skills.

3. Compensation

Salary is important although, surprisingly, it is not the most important area of consideration for job seekers. Employees tell us that the compensation should be fair and competitive with similar positions in other organizations.

4. Stability

With businesses folding or downsizing through layoffs, job stability is a key factor for candidates when deciding on organizations.

5. Compatible organizational culture

People want to be able to contribute to their employers on multiple levels. In addition to skills and experience, people want to be able to find an organization in which they can give their all and fit in.

6. Location

Location will not normally deter someone from applying for a job, but it can be a secondary factor when evaluating options.

7. Flexibility

Organizations that are flexible to allow their employees to pursue additional education or juggle family responsibilities have an edge in attracting and retaining employees.

8. Benefits

These include not only medical insurance, holidays and vacations, but also 401K and profit sharing plans, employee incentive awards and recognition, as well as on-the-job training for improvement and advancement opportunities.

9. Work Schedule

For parents who drop off children at school in the morning, the difference between a 7:30 a.m. and an 8:30 a.m. flexible start time makes all the difference in the world. Positions involving night and weekend hours offer flexibility for those who have other commitments during the weekday (such as school, children and other employment).

10. Great Boss

Employees say they are looking for a mentor at work. A supervisor who gives feedback to improve your skills and performance, and recognizes your accomplishments is sought after.

Job hunting?

We offer these recommendations to those seeking employment in the New Year:

>> Have a plan;

>> Make sure you have an error-free resume and complete information on your employment history. Employers will eliminate potential employees with resumes that are outdated, have errors or are incomplete;

>> Be proactive and target where you want to work; do your homework and study these companies;

>> Network. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a specific type of job; the majority of job vacancies are never advertised in the want ads.

Marie Kumabe and Kristi Inkinen are co-founders of Remedy Intelligent Staffing. Reach them at 733-8550 or visit

To participate in the Think Inc. discussion, e-mail your comments to; fax them to 529-4750; or mail them to Think Inc., Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Anonymous submissions will be discarded.

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