Recruiting for Values

With unemployment levels very low and many skills in short supply, the best things to look for in a new candidate is a hot topic – is there a need to look beyond what’s on a CV? Skills can always be taught but attitudes and values are harder to change. Many studies have indicated that values-led recruitment can increase staff retention and lead to a more productive and motivated workforce and gives better results than looking at skills and experience alone.

It’s been widely used in the health sector but more and more businesses are adopting values led recruitment. It makes sure all your staff work with the same goals in mind, not just personally in what the business achieves in the long run.

What are values?

Values are simply what you stand for how that relates to the aims of your business. It’s not just about the day-to-day culture of what it’s like to work in your office. We’re all about happiness and enjoying your work, but while that means we like to have a bit of fun and a laugh in work ourselves, we also want to ensure our candidates feel the same when they start a new role.

Values are imbued in all the work you do, though you might not necessarily make a conscious effort to do it. They’re difficult things to really put your finger on. So what are values not?

Well, values do not automatically equate to your office culture or the personality of successful people in a business.

Where many hiring managers go wrong with values-led recruitment is by hiring a whole team of clones – similar personalities, interests and often social or cultural backgrounds too.  That sort of approach means you can end up with a cliquey group that can demotivate new starters, and with no alternative outlooks, a company can quickly get stuck in its ways and struggle to change and adapt for the future or correct its mistakes.  Values are not about who you are, but what you do!

How do you identify if someone has the right values?

If values are about what someone does, and their attitude, then you’ll need to interview someone accordingly and find out about what they do.  If you ask straight up “what are your values?”, you’ll get the answers you want to hear – but anyone can reel off a list of values from your website!

Instead, think about the duties involved in the role and ask competency questions around them. If one of your values for example, is being thorough, then you know that a candidate with answers where they cut corners in procedures isn’t going to get very far with your business.  It’s not necessarily about the results, but the way they’re achieved – are those impressive sales figures from looking after your customers, or from selling to lots of new customers who you never heard from again?

The cost of making the wrong hire can be up to 4 times the annual salary of a role in terms of time lost or work missed and the main reason things don’t go to plan is because of personalities or values clashing in the office.   It’s no surprise then that many are looking to new approaches in recruitment.

From personality and psychometric tests to group and competency based interviews, there are lots of ways to dig a little deeper about what a candidate really has to offer. You won’t get by just judging on CVs alone.