What do your values say about you to an employer?
When hiring, naturally employers will look at the candidate's skill set: there is no point in hiring someone who doesn’t have the basic knowledge of what the job entails. But more and more, employers are looking to the personal values when selecting candidates: do they match with that of the organisation’s? Will they lead to success? Will the characteristics exhibited by a prospective employee contribute added value to the company, both in terms of productivity and profit?
As a prospective employee, candidates should apply to organisations whose values align with their own, and therefore it is essential to have a basic understanding of the key values employers look for.
As with most things, the list is not absolute, and certainly values can cross over. Generally speaking though, we can group them into two specific areas: attitude and ethic.
In this sense, ethic refers to the values demonstrated day-to-day, whilst attitude can refer to the values intrinsically held by the individual.
Building trust within the workplace
In all aspects of life, productive relationships are built on trust. Just as successful businesses work to gain the trust of clients, prospective employees need to portray their own individual sense of a moral compass whilst operating in the parameters of their job, and be able to align that sense of trustworthy behaviour within the workplace.
Motivation to learn and grow within the organisation
The ability to seek and access continuing professional development is essential to remain productive and valuable to an organisation. Keeping up to date with new techniques, skills and theories relating to a field of business is vital for success and increased job security.
The self-confident person is one who questions, has a strong moral compass, recognises failures and maintains a positive attitude. The self-motivated one is one who takes an active approach to seeking those questions, makes decisions using initiative, works on their weaknesses and inspires others through action. This is a skill highly sought out by employers.
Showing loyalty to the company
Possibly above all, employers value employees who display their loyalty to the company, whilst employees value employers who are fair and provide opportunities for growth and development. Employees who show a willingness to feedback, and then see that feedback acted upon, is a highly empowering process and one in which employers are actively encouraging in the workplace. In this sense, creating an organisation that values loyalty can also work to its benefit by using the same strategies to create loyalty with clients, leading to a more successful business.
The willingness to work hard and efficiently
As the old saying goes, “success is no accident”. Employers seek employees who understand that hard work will lead to a greater chance of success whether in terms of profit or productivity.
In the modern world, however, there is another aspect to consider: the ability to work efficiently. This means learning the most effective way to complete tasks in the quickest amount of time. In this sense, prospective employees need to show employers that they can utilise organisational skills to the maximum and at the same time retaining a positive attitude. This is not an easy task, but where the threat of automation is leading to more and more downsizing in the labour market, it is essential for prospective candidates to be able to show they can maximise time constraints, and go beyond the call of duty where necessary.
The necessity to be dependable and responsible
Employers value employees who are punctual and responsible for their actions. In this regard, it’s essential to keep management informed of all aspects of your work: whether that be changes in your schedule, or updates on where you’re at with any projects you’ve been assigned.
The ability to be flexible and adapable
In an ever-changing workplace, employers seek employees who can maintain flexibility in their approach, and be open to change and improvements. Changes in workplace can sometimes be down to factors beyond the control of employees, and it is therefore essential that employees can retain a sense of perspective, and adapt to the requirements of management. This also extends to interpersonal relationships with colleagues: in the workplace, or in a team environment, each person brings their own set of strengths, behaviours and habits. Adaptability therefore refers to the ability to accommodate others and work as part of an effective team.
The prerequisite to be professional and positive
Being professional can be defined broadly, but in general it refers to everyday appearance and demeanour. On one level, to be professional is to look, speak, and dress appropriately; but on another, it can refer to the ability to work smartly, complete projects as soon as possible and manage time accordingly. Linking both aspects is positivity; not only in terms of attitude, but in the way one portrays themselves as a colleague, role model and valued member of the organisation.
As a recruiter, I need to understand in detail both the clients’ and candidates’ values to help them find the right match. If you are looking for your next job move or if you are an employer looking to hire, please feel free to get in touch to discuss in more details your values and what you are looking for.