3 work values an employer should look for

3 work values an employer should look for

Hard skills, qualifications and previous work experience, alone, do not guarantee that your new hire will be a good fit for the job position you’re aiming to fill. Their work values are equally important. Matter of fact, specific work values may be critical for specific roles. Thus, it is crucial to keep this in mind when hiring – regardless of whether you will fully invest in value-based recruitment.

So, if you were to focus on a checklist of work values, what should they be? That’s exactly what we’ll be discussing in what follows. Before that, let’s first focus on why it’s important to evaluate work values during hiring, to further strengthen our argument.

Assessing work values when hiring and why it’s important 

Candidates’ work ethic should reflect the values you aim to further cultivate within your organization. If not, misalignment in values will lead to misalignment in actions and goals. To elaborate, it is highly likely for people to work with different intentions for different objectives and to produce questionable outcomes. Here’s how you can get past that:

Curating your company’s work values

The first step you should take, so as to make your hiring efforts much more effective, is to highlight the core work values of your company on your website. The same goes for your public job postings. This will help attract – and hopefully retain – talented, like-minded employees, that is, employees who are highly likely to be compatible with your company’s moral code. And the way to do so is to first focus on getting a better understanding of your own starting point, by answering questions such as the following:

  • What does your company stand for, in terms of values?
  • Do you encourage and value certain behaviors, actions and decisions within your organization above others? 
  • What’s your top priority and responsibility, with respect to how you treat your people and what you offer to your community? That’s including employees, stakeholders involved, customers and the society, as a whole. 

Doing so, will help you get closer to building a company with clearly-defined work values; and will help you stand out in an overcrowded and competitive job market.

Evaluating candidates’ work values 

Likewise, when onboarding new employees, you need to evaluate their work values to make sure they are on the same page as you. This refers to candidates who tick all – or almost all – of the boxes in terms of your organization’s desirable work values. And it’s these people who will most likely drive positive and radical changes within your organization.

So, returning to our initial question: What are three work values you should focus on? 

3 work values to look for

Efficiency, initiative, openness and ambition are probably among the top-rated work values you’ll come across, with a quick search. In a similar fashion, if you tried answering the work values questions exercise we suggested above, you probably settled on a similar shortlist. One that is enticing to use in your job postings, right? Well, there is no doubt that people with these values are highly likely to be among the top contributors in your company. Still, there are values that serve as deal-breakers, when it comes to culture, collaboration and the overall progress your team will jointly make. In other words, the values listed below are a “sine qua non” for the success of your team.   

1. Commitment

Evaluating commitment, when hiring, is critical, as people with loyalty to the company and their duties are the ones to make important contributions in all settings. To elaborate, committed people show willingness to give a lot of time and energy; and, thus, are highly likely to go the extra mile and give their best, whenever needed. From a practical perspective, committed employees will not only develop a routine and a plan of actions to complete the tasks assigned to them; they’ll also stick to it, with devotion, till the end. 

2. Reliability and accountability 

Both values characterize people who take on personal responsibility and keep their promises. They’re the ones to stick to the deadlines already agreed upon and deliver to the best of their abilities. Needless to say, reliability and accountability are also critical when it comes to teamwork. Reliable employees are highly likely to support decisions and plans of actions, once agreed with the rest of their team members; and, thus, can be trusted by their colleagues. All in all, both values boil down to the following rule of thumb: “Showing up when you say you will and if not let all interested parties affected know in advance” i.e. consistency between one’s words and their actions. Isn’t that something you’ll need to look for in the people to get on board, no matter the role description?  

3. Integrity and honesty

In a similar vein, honesty and integrity are probably two of the most critical work values you should look for, when hiring. Though it may be pretty difficult to evaluate employees against said values, in advance, working with people that have a great sense of morality and ethic makes work relationships much easier. Not only this, the same people are highly likely to fit the old — yet valuable — cliché of doing the right thing when nobody’s watching. This includes their work effort, how they manage classified information, and their behavior regarding aspects that may put your company at risk. 

Vocation-specific work values

Before we close, it’s worth noting that certain work values are crucial for certain roles, as mentioned earlier. Designers, for example, should be able to accommodate other people’s points of view, so as to improve their own ideas and the outcome of their work. This makes modesty a critical work value, worth considering in that case. For equivalent reasons, you should evaluate candidates for dutifulness and persistence, when hiring software developers; or make sure trustworthiness is a key personality value of the copywriters you’re about to onboard. All in all, the nature of their work, the interactions they have with other team members, the workflows they follow – and other job-specific parameters – make certain personality traits necessary, per case.

Want to maximize the value of your hiring with vocation-specific assessments? 

If you have questions as to how you can navigate the complexity of personality assessments, so as to evaluate candidates against vocation-specific work values, we can be of help. 
Try our pre-hire assessment software tool for free or book a call with us to receive further guidance!