What Employers Expect From The Modern Employee

Posted by Design & Construct on 15-Aug-2015 23:56:57

In Architecture, Construction, Engineering

What Employers Expect From The Modern Employee

What Employers Expect From The Modern Employee

We've been discussing the new normal in the workforce.

Today, employers are still hiring great people, but these employers seem more careful than ever when it comes to hiring.

No longer will most companies hire just for the sake of hiring. Companies are trying to be smarter when it comes to hiring because it saves them time and money in the long run. No company wants to hire today only to lay off employees in a few years.

This reality makes the job market difficult and frustrating for jobseekers. But if you know what employers are looking for from employees today you can position yourself to get a great position.

And you know that when you get hired today you're likely to be in a good position for many years.

At Design & Construct, we see qualities employers will always look for in employees, but each has a little modern twist.

If you're looking for a better job then take the time to read these points. Aligning yourself with the ideal modern employee profile will help you be in a better position to get your dream job in the design and construction industries.


History of Success (Not Always in a Specific Area)

Nobody can predict the future, but we all try to look at past performance as an indicator of what will happen in the future.

At design and construction companies, executives are looking for a history of success from candidates. Ideally they want someone that has a history of success in the exact role they are hiring for, but that's an ideal scenario.

Hiring teams know that they won't always find the perfect candidate in terms of experience.

This means that companies have to look for a history of success in life in other areas as an indicator of success in other areas.

For example, if a firm is hiring an entry-level engineer they know the person likely isn't going to have a lot of experience designing skyscrapers, but the company isn't looking for that person for this type of job.

Instead, the company is looking for a history of success in other areas. They want to see that you've done well throughout your life, especially recently, in different areas.

Maybe you've done well in school. For recent university graduates it's good to have a history of success in the classroom and in outside activities.

Perhaps you've done well in sports or other activities. Being a team leader even on a local sporting team shows employers that you're willing to try new things and do what it takes to become successful.

Take part in local events such as fundraisers. Take the lead on the event and see if you can bring in the most donations in the history of the event.

Give your time as a coach or mentor for local children. See if you can help each of the kids improve in sports, school or a different skill that will help them in life.

For an even more modern twist try creating a blog or a website where you build an audience of followers.

Each of these requires only your time and effort, but they will go a long way toward proving to your future employer that you're driven to succeed.

That's an important trait employers look for when hiring someone.

Past success is an indicator of future success.


Complementary Core Values

We've also talked about culture on the blog before.

At Design & Construct, we see it all the time. Companies and employees work well for a little while only to see things go bad.

It's nobody's fault. Intentions were for the employee and the employer to be happy with each other for many years, but in the long run the core values of the company and its employees become an important indicator of synthesis.

This means that your core values need to complement or align with the company you want to work for. If your core values are different then it's likely the job won't work out well in the long run. You'll be frustrated and so will the people you work with.

The people in charge of hiring today are aware of culture. They often have a listen of the company core values with them in every interview.

Some companies are focused on being the best in the industry. Others are focused on profit. Others are focused on being conservative in nature while always giving back to the community no matter what. Others will focus on being risky and giving employees the opportunity to make a lot of money.

Employers are looking for jobseekers with similar core values.

This is nothing you can really change. What you can do is look at yourself and figure out what motivates you in life.

Make note of these things and learn to communicate them during the hiring process. If you find a company that has matching core values you'll want to share stories from your life and your work that communicate what your core values are to the person across the table from you.

Do this and you're likely to get hired because the employee will know that you'll be happy in the long run and that happiness often leads to high quality work.


Consistency and Reliability

Employers like people that perform at a high level, but often performing at a high level requires taking risks and that can be uncomfortable for many companies.

For example, if you reach the upper levels of the construction industry and you take on risky jobs that offer either high profits or big busts you can really shine or the company could sink.

You have to take some risk in your career, but employers are looking for consistency. They want to see that you're always improving and always performing at a specific level.

Failure is all right as long as it doesn't cost the company big dollars. This means cutting down on the risk a bit in favor of performing consistently at your job.

We can relate consistency in the work place to sports. Often it's the players a coach can always count on to perform that are the most valuable. A player that is always there allows the coach not to worry while a player that always takes risk will give the coach fits because there will always be flashes of brilliance mixed with flashes of regret.

Also, make yourself available for the employer. Show that you've always been on time and have missed little work over your career even if you have to look back on your university years.

Employers want to see that they can count on you even if something happens and you're required to work more hours.

Firms want consistency and reliability more than flash and risk.


Online Skills

The modern employee today ideally knows at least the basics when it comes to the Internet.

Employers want to see that you know the basics of using email, Web apps and even social media. This shows that you're willing to learn new things.

The design and construction industry has always had a big footprint in technology. Employees are often required to learn new things whether it's a new technology or new process.

Complete your online profiles. Launch an inexpensive, but professional personal website to showcase your online skills.

You'll show potential employers that you're connecting with what is happening now.


Common Sense Approach

A classic trait many firms look for in employees is common sense.

We just discussed the ability to stay up-to-date with trends and technology, but it's easy to get caught up in hype.

Employers are looking for someone that gets caught up in things. They want someone that can take a common sense approach to every aspect of the job.

If you have common sense you'll be sought after for advice during personal one-on-one conversations. People will come to you seeking perspective on a variety of decisions.

You'll also be someone that brings value to meetings because you can keep the excitement or disappointment under control. It's a very valuable trait that is difficult to find.

When you sit down with interviewers share a few stories and show them how your common sense approach to life can reflect well in the office or even on the construction site.



For most jobs, especially entry-level jobs, employers are looking for someone they can coach.

There are too many people that feel they know everything there is to know.

Your experience and knowledge will come in handy at your job and you want to represent it, but you also want to show that you're coachable.

In interviews and in other communication with potential employers, share stories of how you've worked with a team and learned from your co-workers and from your superiors.

Give credit to others for showing you how to do things. Then talk about how you took that knowledge and used it to drive you to learn even more.

If you're coachable the employer will get excited about all the ways they can take you and turn you into a star employee.

It's great for them, but also great for you.



Ultimately, you'll be judged on a profit level. It's the nature of the business world. The employer wants to know that you'll bring profit to the business.

Businesses need profit to survive and if an employee isn't adding profit to the business they're taking it away and that's a losing battle right from the start.

A good exercise is to figure out the value you bring to the potential employer. You don't necessarily have to share this with the employers you meet, but it is good to understand the profit you can bring to the company.

This understanding not only lets you know if it's worth it for the company to hire you, but you can use the knowledge to negotiate better salaries.



The modern workforce has changed. Employers are more particular about the people they hire.

The tips in this article should provide an understanding of the traits employers look for today.

Align yourself with these traits and you should find yourself in better position to land the job of your dreams.