Report Reveals Hiring Managers Value Integrity More Than Other Traits

Career Advisory Board survey suggests adaptability, industry knowledge are key components of hiring decisions

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., March 21, 2016 - The Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University, today released its fifth annual Job Preparedness Indicator survey. This year’s findings indicate hiring managers are receptive to candidates changing careers, especially if their previous experience can be applied to the new position; but above all else, integrity is the No. 1 trait that candidates should possess.

The annual research surveys 500 hiring managers in the U.S. to identify gaps between job candidates’ attributes and the traits hiring managers are seeking. These gaps are identified by assessing desirable skills that are least common amongst entry-, mid- and senior-level candidates.

“During the recession and immediate post-recession years, the Job Preparedness Indicator survey pointed toward a trend of hiring managers wanting ‘the world’ of candidates, with extremely high expectations from the start,” said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. “Although the economy has improved since then and it’s less of a hiring manager’s market, expectations of job seekers remain fairly consistent.”

2015 Job Preparedness Indicator Key Findings
Do your research, especially for a career change
  • Hiring managers are increasingly willing to consider candidates changing industries and roles, with 38 percent stating they were very likely to consider a career changer with the right skills. Eagerness to learn is an asset, as more than half of respondents want to hire people who show willingness to gain the right experience and further develop their skills.
  • The top concerns about career-changing candidates included a lack of industry experience and an inability to assimilate into the organizational culture. However, 60 percent of hiring managers noted that these candidates can improve their chances of serious consideration for employment by devising a concise and sensible explanation for the change.
Attitude is everything
  • For the fifth consecutive year, hiring managers say attitude outranks skill, especially when it comes to personal ethics. This year, they ranked integrity the most important trait for a jobseeker to possess at any level.
  • Candidates should keep in mind that hiring managers are naturally skeptical. Job seekers should be prepared to share examples of being authentic and transparent in the workplace.
Adaptability is key
  • In today’s business environment, change and evolution are constant. Hiring managers want to see candidates demonstrate adaptability and flexibility.
  • Job seekers need to articulate how they have adapted to change with positive outcomes.
Make a good impression
  • Technology allows hiring managers and candidates to connect virtually; however, face-to-face interviews are still preferred — meaning job candidates should hone their in-person interviewing skills.
  • As 46 percent of hiring managers surveyed cited strong interviewing skills as an important trait, candidates need to engage the interviewer in the conversation and not just answer their questions.

“Employers want you to show that you’ve done your research and prepared for not only an interview, but also for a career in their company and industry,” said Madeleine Slutsky, chair of the Career Advisory Board and vice president of career and student services at DeVry University. “In today’s job market, candidates must differentiate their expertise to stand out from the competition.”

To read the research report and expert commentary on solutions for closing the gaps between job seekers and hiring managers, please visit

About the Career Advisory Board

Established in 2010 by DeVry University, the Career Advisory Board is comprised of leading representatives from business and academia who deliver valuable insights on today’s most important career trends and provide actionable advice for job seekers. The Career Advisory Board generates original research and commentary, and creates tools, insights and resources to prepare job seekers for success. Its members include executives from DeVry University, Google, Apple, HP, IBM, and LinkedIn, as well as nationally recognized career experts. For more information, visit

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About DeVry University 

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit


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