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How to Find Manufacturing Employees With Strong Work Ethic

February 16, 2016

high-volume-hiring-2.jpgWouldn’t it be great if you could go to Google or Facebook and type in, “how to find hard working employees,” and have the results show people who are actually hard working? I have spent most of my working career studying jobs and listening to what organizations want in their employees. I’ve never heard an organization say they didn’t want an employee who was going to work hard for them, particularly for entry-level positions in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing jobs are often routine and very procedural. As such, it’s very important that employees follow the procedures exactly and stay engaged and focused on the work for a long period of time. Even with job rotation and breaks, it can be difficult to stay motivated to do the same motion or task day after day. For many people, it’s challenging to maintain productivity and quality under these circumstances.

To maximize productivity, many organizations will build extrinsic rewards and accountability into the jobs to make sure that employees are producing for the organization. Even with these systems in place, some employees just don’t cut it. If you’ve been in the workforce long enough, it’s likely you’ve come across a coworker who was always looking for the easy way out or a way to get out of his/her work.

These individuals not only reduce productivity for the entire organization but can negatively impact their coworkers and overall production. It is in everybody’s best interest to hire workers who are motivated to work hard and do their part. What if you were able to predict, in the hiring process, which candidates are more likely to work hard and stay focused on the task?

From a hiring manager’s perspective, this sounds like a difficult task. During an interview, if you ask candidates if they are going to show up to work and work hard, their answer will always be an emphatic – yes! I’m here to tell you that there are ways of gathering information around work ethic and other desirable employee characteristics.

Work ethic, as I discuss it, is being a hard worker; someone who is committed and dedicated to doing their best work for an organization every day regardless of the situation. This behavior is demonstrated by people who are highly conscientious. Conscientiousness is a personality trait that has been shown to be predictive of job performance across industries and position levels.

Individuals who are high in conscientiousness tend to be reliable, dependable, responsible, hardworking, and intrinsically motivated to produce high-quality work. Wouldn’t you love to staff your organization with a bunch of these people?! The good news is that well-developed personality assessments can measure conscientiousness quite well.

During a webinar on March 8th, two of Select International’s Industrial Psychologists are going to discuss this topic in more depth. We'll show actual organizational outcomes that have proven how measuring work ethic, and other stable psychological traits, have improved key metrics such as absenteeism, turnover, safety (accidents) and productivity (job performance).

Yes, you can measure work ethic and finding employees who demonstrate it can improve your organization in many ways!

Editor's Note: This webinar took place on March 8th, 2016. To view a recording of the webinar, click here. 


Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. is the Manager of Product Development at PSI. She is an expert in the design, development and validation of psychological assessment tools. An integral member of PSI since 2000, Amie has led the development of numerous competency-based assessments, including online in-baskets, job simulations and motivational fit instruments.