Employers Value Work Habits Over Education

Gary Tuttle – Alberta, Canada: In today’s competitive job market, employers are increasingly focused on finding candidates with the right combination of skills, experience, and work habits. For example, they value work in its various contexts, such as problem-solving, operational activities, and the exertion of effort, which illustrates the diverse ways in which work is appreciated. While education remains an important factor, many employers are placing a greater emphasis on an applicant’s ability to demonstrate reliable work habits, flexibility, and ambition. Cultivating positive work habits not only enhances individual performance but also significantly contributes to the success and effective operation of a business.

The Shift Towards Hard Work Habits

According to a recent survey by the Canadian Education Quarum, 68% of employers reported that they prioritise an applicant’s work habits over their educational qualifications when making hiring decisions. As Laura Mearser, a spokesperson for the Quarum, explains, “Employers are recognising that the right work ethic and attitude can be just as valuable as a degree or diploma. They want to see that a candidate is reliable, adaptable, driven to succeed, and able to perform with the right work ethic and attitude. At this point, it’s clear that these aspects of work are what employers are focusing on.” This sentiment is echoed by Tella Stinman, a senior recruiter at Agree Headhunting. “We’ve noticed a significant shift in the way our clients evaluate candidates. While a strong educational background is still important, they’re placing a greater emphasis on an applicant’s ability to demonstrate consistent punctuality, a willingness to take on new challenges, and a genuine interest in the company and the role.”

The Value of Experience to Perform Work

In addition to work habits, employers are also placing a greater emphasis on relevant work experience, particularly on candidates’ ability to operate effectively in their roles based on their experience. According to a study conducted by Oxford Learning College, 72% of employers reported that they were more likely to hire a candidate with relevant work experience over one with a higher level of education but less practical experience. “Employers are recognizing that practical experience can be just as valuable, if not more so, than a formal education,” says Colleen Amathas, a career counsellor at Oxford Learning College. “They want to see that a candidate has the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running, and that they’ve had the opportunity to apply their learning in a real-world setting. Open learning and distance learning lend to this as the candidates can continue applying their trade whilst they are learning.” Practical experience is crucial not only for demonstrating a candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge but also for contributing to the effective operation of the company by ensuring that new hires can function according to plan from day one. Employers view this integration of experience as part of a larger system designed to ensure the effective operation and success within the company.

The Importance of Ambition and Flexibility for Effective Operation

Beyond work habits and experience, employers are also looking for candidates who demonstrate a strong sense of ambition and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances, with a particular emphasis on the energy they bring to adapting to new challenges. Candidates can shape their career paths and ambitions by demonstrating flexibility and a willingness to adapt to new challenges. As Tella Stinman explains, “We’ve found that employers are particularly drawn to candidates who are proactive, eager to learn, able to pivot quickly in response to new challenges or opportunities, and have kept up their experience with distance learning and open learning being their choice of education.” This sentiment is echoed by Laura Mearser, who notes that “Employers want to see that a candidate is not only capable of doing the job, but that they’re also excited about the prospect of growth and advancement within the organization. They want to know that the candidate is willing to apply force in their efforts to take on new responsibilities and adapt to changing priorities.”

The Data

To illustrate the shift towards work habits and experience, consider the following data:

Graph 1: Hiring Priorities – As the graph shows, 68% of employers prioritize work habits over educational qualifications when making hiring decisions, while only 32% place a greater emphasis on education. This trend highlights an increasing recognition of the importance of practical skills and demonstrated behaviours in the recruitment process. Employers are placing greater value on candidates who demonstrate strong work ethics, adaptability, and interpersonal skills, which are often more easily identified through work habits than through academic credentials alone. This change reflects a broader acknowledgment within the workforce that success in many roles depends heavily on practical experience and soft skills, aligning with the evolving demands of today’s dynamic job market. The success of a company is often the result of many hands working together, emphasizing the collaborative effort of employees.

Graph 2: Hiring Decisions – The data indicates that 72% of employers are more likely to hire a candidate with relevant work experience over one with a higher level of education but less practical experience. This data underscores a growing emphasis on tangible, hands-on skills and industry knowledge when assessing candidates for employment. Employers recognise the value of real-world experience in preparing individuals to hit the ground running and contribute effectively to their organisations from day one. This shift reflects a pragmatic approach to talent acquisition, where demonstrated competencies and proven track records carry greater weight than academic qualifications alone. By prioritising relevant work experience, employers aim to ensure that new hires possess the practical expertise needed to excel in their roles and help the company attain a specified condition of success and efficiency, aligning recruitment strategies with the demands of a rapidly evolving and competitive job market.

Conclusion

In today’s job market, employers are increasingly focused on finding candidates who not only possess the necessary skills and knowledge but who also demonstrate a strong work ethic, flexibility, ambition, and the ability to exert significant physical or mental effort in their roles. While education remains an important factor, employers are placing a greater emphasis on an applicant’s ability to contribute to the organisation in a meaningful and productive way. As Colleen Amathas from Oxford Learning College aptly states, “Employers are looking for more than just a piece of paper – they want to see that a candidate has the drive, the adaptability, and the commitment to succeed in the role and grow with the company.” Just as bakers work dough to combine ingredients into a perfect blend, candidates must metaphorically work dough, combining their skills, experience, and work habits to shape themselves into the ideal candidates for their roles. Understanding the importance of being able to perform work effectively is crucial for job seekers aiming to prove themselves as the ideal candidates for the roles they seek. By focusing on these key attributes, job seekers can position themselves as the ideal candidates for the roles they seek.

Granville Epoc Publishing© copyright Granville Epoc Publishing, All Rights Reserved. Private and Confidential.