Value adding

You'll hear a lot about value adding to jobs in the employment market. The idea is simple, and you need to understand it for your job hunting and interviews.

Value adding means providing value in your work beyond the job itself.

You occasionally see in interview situations questions like:

  • Can you tell us about a time when you went the extra few yards to achieve something at work?
  • Can you tell us when you did more than you were required to do on the job?
  • Have you ever done a job where it wasn't really your responsibility, but you did it anyway?

There's quite a few variations, but the reason for these questions is to discover how much more you're able to do in your work environment.

The reason for value adding is that any job, from manager to junior janitor is value-based. What you're paid is based on the value of what you do.

Hence the interest in people who can do more for the same pay, but there's a bit more to it. The questions also relate to your development value, where you can do higher value work.

It's often a major issue. Hiring people who have potential for a lot of development and high value work is an obviously important part of the business itself.

Businesses are only as good as the people who operate them. People come and go, and there's always a need for people who can step up and do the jobs. Many job promotions are based on employers being very careful about hiring people to cover important work. Anyone who can do that work is a definite candidate for a job, even if they get hired for another position.

The economics of value adding are obvious. This adds plenty of potential for job hunters with a lot of skills who know how to fit their extra skills to a job.

Value adding for job hunters

There are two basic methods for value adding.

One is job search, where your extra skills beyond essential criteria are good material for applications.

The other is the interview itself, where you can give yourself a good supply of cues to provide extra information to show your value-adding abilities.