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Employers Value Integrity over Education

Work Ethic and Attitude are Most Important in Hiring

Express Employment Professionals Study Reveals the Values
Employers Really Look For in Job Candidates
Managers Are Looking at the Person — Not Just the Paper

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 17, 2013 —In the second of a series of reports entitled, “America Employed,” Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, released survey findings today showing which values employers consider 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: resumes are part of the picture, but they’re not the full picture. A good work ethic, integrity and values matter most,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Even with the most polished resumes, the most accomplished candidate won’t get through a final interview if he or she doesn’t bring integrity along with his or her 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 resumes to work alongside; they’re looking for a person,” Funk 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.


If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.


About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 675 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

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