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Head Hunting – 12 Values of the Top Talent

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Talent head hunting can be hard. With so many applications per vacancy, how can you be sure to find the best candidate for your role? 

When looking to head hunting the very top talent, recruiters need to consider more than experience and qualifications alone.

Identifying values and motivations is one of the most effective ways to predict the future performance of candidates. Values are the characteristics of work that candidates find most important. Values can help to identify top talent based on fair and transparent measures. They also help recruiters to assess and grade large talent pools.

Here are 12 values and motivations beneficial in businesses and our top tips on how you can develop these to become a top talent.

1. Customer Experience

Customer experience is the impression customers have of a company throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. Customer experience takes place either through the product or interaction with the company. Does the product meet or exceed expectations? Is interaction with the company positive? And remember, interaction can take place through online interaction, during telephone calls, and via email.

Customer experience is crucial to all companies as a happy customer is likely to become a loyal customer. Loyal customers tend to stay longer, spend more and be valuable advocates to other potential customers.

Having this value means you focus on meeting customer expectations and are to customer concerns to provide a better customer experience.  The first way to develop your customer experience skills is to find out more about what it means. There is a wealth of information online for general knowledge building. There are many online training courses you could take to demonstrate your knowledge and ability to potential employers.

If you are in a job then you need to know what customer experience means within your current company and how you can develop your skills in line with these goals. You could find this out from company literature, organizational strategy, and targets, or by discussing expectations with your manager. 

2. Ownership

Ownership in the workplace is often confused with accountability. Accountability means taking responsibility for tasks, goals and expectations.  Whereas ownership is a more intrinsic decision, a mindset. It’s about choosing to own your work, department goals and organizational objectives. Ownership means you apply discretionary effort and always put 100% into a task. Ownership means treating the company, and its money, as though it’s your own.

Company’s value ownership as it increases employee performance improves decision making and enhances the customer experience. It also encourages creativity and innovation which drive a company forward. Employers consider ownership in their persona during the head hunting stage.  

To develop your ownership mindset, you will need to look externally for information and internally for your own motivations. Here are some ideas:

  • Know what success looks like for your company- so you can take ownership of the right tasks and behaviors
  • Understand your company’s finances- this helps to create a sense of ownership and know where you can add value
  • Understand the ‘why’-why is the work your company does so important? Make sure this aligns with your personal values.

3. Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship means the ability to spot an opportunity and use your initiative to make the most out of it. It means always seeking to try something new or looking to improve processes.  Entrepreneurship also includes other skills and abilities such as problem-solving, innovation, leadership, commercial awareness and goal-orientation.

Whilst being an entrepreneur is often associated with owning your own business, such skills are highly valued by companies. Any company that does not adapt to changing trends will fall behind the competition. Employees with entrepreneurship skills can discover innovative ways of working, address problems with creative solutions, be forward-thinking and see new opportunities.

Building this skill is best achieved through doing, that’s the entrepreneurial mindset after all.  Have you considered a side hustle based on your existing skills? Or could you develop your skills through volunteering or setting up a fundraising project? Why not read up on your favorite famous entrepreneur to see how they made it to the top?

4. Accountability

Accountability means being responsible for your actions, behavior, performance and decisions. It’s about taking responsibility for your results, rather than expecting colleagues or management to do it. People who demonstrate high levels of accountability are resilient, resourceful and honest. They keep their promises and maintain a positive attitude.

Companies value accountability as it results in improved performance, higher levels of creativity and innovation, and improved customer experience. Accountable employees also report feeling more involved in their work with higher levels of motivation and job satisfaction. Employers consider accountability in the ideal candidate persona during the head hunting stage.  

Accountability training courses and coaching services are available to offer guided, formal learning. You could also build accountability skills through self-directed and on-the-job learning such as:

  • Know your role so you can take responsibility for all aspects and meet expectations.
  • Ask for clarification if you’re unsure.
  • Get organized to keep on top of tasks and deadlines.
  • Only make promises you know you can keep.
  • Take ownership of your mistakes, be honest and seek to rectify errors.
  • Gain feedback from colleagues, your manager,  friends or family about your strengths and weakness concerning accountability.

5. Integrity

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching – especially when no one is watching (C.S. Lewis). Integrity is demonstrated by:

  • being honest, trustworthy and reliable.
  • keeping your promises.
  • admitting mistakes.
  • remaining respectful during a conflict.
  • following the rules.
  • standing up for what’s right.

Companies value integrity because it builds trust and confidence, not only between colleagues and teams but also with customers and the general public. Trust, honesty and ethical behavior are increasingly important for company success as both employees and customers value these traits when making decisions. Headhunters are striving to find talents having this integrity as part of their values and motivation. Employers consider integrity in their persona during the head hunting stage.  

You can build your integrity at work by delivering on promises such as work deadlines and appointments. Be honest and say ‘no’ if you cannot deliver. Admit when you’ve made mistakes and help to put them right. Learn from those you admire either in the workplace or in your personal life. You could find out more about public figures known for their integrity from books and documentaries.

6. Autonomy & Independence

Autonomy refers to how much freedom you have in the workplace. This could mean the freedom to choose your tasks, working hours or place of work. It could also be the opportunity to take ownership of a project.

Autonomy is valued by companies as it has a positive effect on wellbeing, job satisfaction and engagement. These lead to higher performing employees who are more productive, innovative and motivated. Companies also benefit from reduced employee absence and turnover.

The skills needed to be effective when working autonomously and independent include:

  • Knowing what tasks you need to do
  • Self-motivation
  • Taking initiative rather than being told what to do
  • Always delivering to the best of your ability
  • Being 100% reliable
  • Taking ownership of your mistakes
  • Looking for improvement
  • Making good decisions

To build autonomy skills you could ask your manager for small responsibilities to prove your ability. You could take more autonomy for your own personal development or activities/hobbies in your personal life. 

7. Work-life Balance

Work-life balance refers to the prioritization between work and personal life. It relates to how much work activities are present in personal life, e.g. working at home in the evenings or checking email over the weekend. Successful work-life balance is considered the ability to work flexibly to be highly productive at work, whilst still having the time and energy to enjoy your personal life.

Savvy employers don’t want their staff to work long hours and burn themselves out. Successful companies know that supporting a good work-life balance results in more effective, productive and engaged employees.  Companies that encourage a good work-life balance can boost their reputation to attract top talent and committed customers.

So how can you ensure you achieve a good work-life balance?  Take responsibility for your own wellbeing and speak up if you feel under too much pressure and your performance is being affected. Work smart, not hard by prioritizing the most important tasks.  Working on top priorities when you are most effective, for some this could be first thing in the morning or for others later in the day.  Take regular breaks and try to separate your work-time from your leisure time. Develop hobbies and a good social circle so that you value and enjoy your personal time.

8. Ambition for Career Advancement

Gone are the days where people leave school, join a company and stay there until they retire. A ‘job for life’ has been replaced with individuals building their own path towards a meaningful and fulfilling career. On average people change jobs every 4 years. Career management skills are essential to understand what ambitions you have for career advancement and how to achieve your goals.

Ambitious employees are valued by companies as they often demonstrate high levels of creativity, innovation, performance and initiative. Successful companies recognize the needs of their ambitious employees and develop challenging and fulfilling career paths to extend the duration of their time with the organization.

You can develop your career management skills to set clear career goals. Share these with employers so they can support your ambitions.  You need to plan your career goals, develop an action plan and regularly review progress.  Show your desire for career advancement at work by showing continuous learning, volunteering for new projects, understanding business goals and contributing directly. Make use of regular appraisal reviews to seek development and new experiences.

9. Employess Engagement and Loyalty

When you are engaged in your employment, you are highly motivated, loyal and positive about your work.  To feel engaged employees need to have a clear understanding of the overall organizational objectives and how their role fits into its success

Companies want engaged and loyal employees as positive attitudes and behaviors lead to improved business outcomes.  Business benefits include improved reputation and customer experience, increased innovation and collaboration, reduced turnover and absence rates and improved productivity. Employers consider employee loyalty in their persona during the head hunting stage.  

You can boost your engagement with your company by finding out more about the overall goals and objectives. You can find this out by asking your manager or mentor or by seeking out information on the company internet or from annual reports. From there you can link your role to the bigger picture, maybe with help from your manager. Try to build relationships with your colleagues to feel like part of the team.  Take on new tasks to increase your knowledge and build more relationships.

10. Continuous learning

Continuous learning is an ongoing process of increasing your ability to develop. It means seeking out new experiences and skills that may be related to your work, wider professional interests or personal life.

Companies value continuous learning as it ensures that employees keep up to date with changes in their industry, improve their effectiveness in their current role and are prepared for future roles and promotions. Continuous learning results in continuous improvement and change readiness, both are essential for companies to maintain their competitive advantage. Employers consider continuous learning in their persona during the head hunting stage.  

Continuous learning can take place through formal qualifications, training courses, or self-directed learning. On-the-job training such as project work, shadowing others, questioning and seeking feedback are also valuable ways to learn.  It’s useful to identify your learning goals and devise a plan to meet your ambitions. It’s also useful to understand your preferred learning styles through free online assessments and consider this in your planning. 

11. Diversity and Inclusion

This means working in a way that recognizes, understands and respects people’s differences. It means working inclusively to consider the value of different perspectives. Diversity and inclusion skills are important when working with colleagues, when communicating with customers and when developing or improving processes or products.

Companies seek to employ a diverse workforce to draw on a wide range of talent, experiences, perspectives and cultures. This results in diverse and innovative thinking and improved knowledge of a wider customer market. Companies who can demonstrate they value diversity and inclusion improve their reputation both in attracting the highest quality talent and customers.

Improving your diversity and inclusion skills starts with your own self-awareness. Understanding your own identity, assumptions and biases can be a difficult lesson.  From there you can begin to understand how you perceive others. The identification of your biases then enables you to reflect on your beliefs and develop a more inclusive approach. You can complete an unconscious bias test online, such as the Harvard Implicit Association Test, as a good starting point. Lots of information is available online to understand more about diversity and challenge your assumptions.

12. Fun at Work

Fun and work are often not considered to go together. But having fun at work is important to individuals and companies. You are going to spend a lot of your time at work, so why not take steps to enjoy yourself.

For companies, employees who have fun at work are more productive, have higher performance, less stress, and greater innovation. Increased employee engagement results in a positive company reputation, an important factor when attracting top talent, particularly from the younger workforce. Employers consider fun at work in their persona during the head hunting early stage.  

Here are some top tips on how to build fun into your workplace:

  • Take time to figure out what aspects of work you enjoy and try to do more of this.
  • Have hobbies and interest outside of work as this will give you an overall sense of happiness which can impact your work.
  • Be proactive and set goals to motivate yourself.
  • Listen to music while you work.
  • Make some friendly competition with a colleague.
  • Build relationships with colleagues.
  • Take regular breaks including a walk in the fresh air.
  • Vary your work location or decorate your desk differently.
  • Break a task down into more manageable pieces to avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Take pride in your work and always produce high-quality outputs.

Talentprise uses data-driven candidate matching based on an assessment of 12 values and motivations, and 12 traits and competencies. A unique ranking system based on 5 pillars: Education, Experience, Expertise, Skills, and Competencies. Streamlining the head hunting process and making sure the right candidates can be found quickly. Good for recruiters and candidates alike.

Sign up for a Talentprise account today to get immediate access to this tremendous talent sourcing experience.

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