The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines work ethic as “a belief in work as a moral good: a set of values that are centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard.” We know work ethic when we see it on the job. They’re the employees whose productivity leads the rest of the team. But is it possible to identify a strong work ethic in your warehouse job applicants before you decide who to hire? Here’s what to look for to help ensure the candidates you hire will do a nice job producing when they’re on the job. 

Defining Work Ethics During the Candidate Process 

Who has the desire to work hard? That’s the real question when you’re hiring a warehouse worker. Studies correlate work ethic with increased production, so it makes sense to look for these skills in the job candidate.  

The reality is that experience matters less than you might think. After all, hard skills can be taught but it is the soft skill of being motivated to do the job that you’re looking for during the interview process. You’re looking for attitude as much as aptitude, and these soft skills are harder to define—and find these days. How can you discern these skills in a job interview before ever having seen the employee perform? You are looking for: 

  • A track record of working hard. Did the candidate work two jobs for an extended period? Did they go to school and work simultaneously? What does the candidate do in their free time? 

  • Dedication to the job. A good interview question is: Describe a time when you went above and beyond the job requirements? You’re looking for candidates who give more than the basic job requirement. 

  • Efficiency in work and in their lives. Being highly productive requires a level of organizational skills to improve task management. Look for examples of how the employee mastered the art of multitasking to gain more efficiency. 

  • Punctuality is always a sign of work ethic. Does the candidate have a track record of showing up on time? This is a good question for the candidate’s references when you call them. You can also ask the candidate a behavioral question such as, “Describe a time when you missed a deadline. What did you do?” You’re looking for a sense of urgency around meeting goals that could signal the employee cared enough about their prior jobs to show up, do the job, and deliver on a deadline. 

  • Level of responsibility. How did the employee handle the missed deadline? Did they take responsibility for missing it right up front, transparently, when the deadline was missed? Were they proactive in confessing that they were going to miss the deadline to begin with? You’re looking for someone motivated to “own” their responsibilities. This is a strong sign of a strong work ethic. 

People Plus can help you identify candidates who have a track record of strong work ethics on the job. We carefully vet the applicants we sent to you to help you have a better shot at finding a stronger caliber of job candidate. Find out how we can help you meet your hiring goals by giving us a call. 

Jun 14, 2022 By Amy Sanderson