Express Employment Professionals study reveals values employers look for in job candidates

July 23, 2013

Employers value integrity over education; work ethic and attitude are most important in hiring

In the second of a series of reports titled “America Employed,” Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately-held staffing firm, released survey findings showing which values employers consider the most important when hiring new employees.

Among eight traits, work ethic/integrity and attitude were deemed most important. Education received the lowest rating, behind references and job experience.

“This study shows what I’ve long believed as an employer, that resumes are part of the picture, but they’re not the full picture. A good work ethic, integrity and values matter most,” said Rick Grimord, CEO of the Express Employment Professionals Brookfield, Wis. office. “Even with the most polished resume, the most accomplished candidate won’t get through a final interview if he or she doesn’t bring integrity along with her or his credentials. A good education can’t overcome a bad attitude.”

“Obviously, education and experience matter, but job seekers should always remember that employers aren’t looking for a resume to work alongside; they’re looking for a person,” Grimord said.

In a study of 264 Express franchises in 46 states, respondents were asked to rate the importance of eight qualities most valued by employers on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important.

The following are the eight top traits and their corresponding ratings:

1. Work ethic/integrity 4.52
2. Attitude 4.50
3. Credible work history 4.20
4. Culture fit 4.03
5. Specific skills 4.02
6. Job experience 3.86
7. References 3.67
8. Education 2.79

“America Employed – Insights from Express Employment Professionals” explores the state of employment – and unemployment – in America today. Each edition of “America Employed” focuses on a different aspect of who gets hired in America – and why. Additional information is available at

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.3 billion in temporary help sales in 2012 and ranks as the largest privately-held staffing agency in the United States. Its goal this year is to put more than one million people to work.

With more than 600 offices in the U.S., Canada and South Africa, Express Employment Professionals offers a full range of employment solutions including evaluation hire, temporary staffing, professional search and human resources. For more information about Express and its services, visit

The Brookfield, Wis. Express Employment Professionals franchise began operations in August of 2012 and provides expertise to the eastern portion of Waukesha County with temporary and full-time employees in a variety of fields including manufacturing, administrative, commercial, accounting and finance, technical and marketing.

The Brookfield Express office is located at 17550 West Bluemound Road, Suite 200, Brookfield, Wis. For more information call 262-754-1350, email, or visit the Express Brookfield, Wis. office’s website at

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