Values-based recruitment has become an increasingly important factor when companies hire. To be fair, it’s always been as important as it is today. It’s just that many companies probably didn’t take it into account when looking at their recruitment processes.
What do we mean by values-based recruitment? It means that you actively choose to employ people whose own values align harmoniously with your company values. And in order to do that, you really have to have a handle on what your company values are in the first place.
This form of employee/business compatibility is a huge component of whether or not your business will succeed. And whether or not it will flourish. It directly impacts productivity, employee retention, engagement, and company morale. These are big-hitting aspects that are impossible to ignore.
So, What Are Your Company Values?
Is this question met with crickets? Then you actually have a bigger problem on your hands as a business.
Every single company should have a clearly defined purpose, vision, and core values. These should not merely be posters on the wall or loitering on a mouse mat. They should be real principles that your company embodies, embeds into their culture, and with which you walk the talk.
If you haven’t really taken the time to process what your purpose, vision, and values are it’s an understatement to say that it should be priority number one before undertaking any further recruitment. Because ongoing hiring of unsuitably aligned employees will only damage your business in the long run, and will probably become a costly endeavour as you lose retention and end up rehiring again and again in the process.
Not sure where to start? Try the Culture as a Foundation For Growth course from our Fuel My Business app to unpack what your company stands for in its beliefs, behaviours, and aspirations. This is essential in order to move forward with values-based recruitment. By nailing these points and really creating a powerful work culture you will positively impact your hiring, improve the workplace for existing employees that align, and add value to your company in spades.
Why is Values-based Recruitment So Important?
Typically recruitment used to focus on hard skills and levels of experience. If the cold hard facts were there on a CV it would often outweigh those soft skills that are harder to define and prove on paper.
But here’s the thing. Hard skills can be taught, while our soft skills such as attitude and personal values for the most part are embedded in the individual. The saying a leopard can’t change its spots sums it up rather well here.
The perfect candidate?
When you hire a ‘perfect’ hard skills candidate without considering if their soft skills align with your established work culture the results can be disastrous to the point of damage. If that candidate is hired, disrupts the existing harmony, and causes frustration with other employees it can result in reduced productivity and even other employee exits. Not ideal!
You then end up hoping and praying the disruption is temporary, or make use of the probation period and end up rehiring all over again. Doesn’t sound terribly effective or efficient, does it?
Choosing a candidate who upholds your values with less experience over a candidate with exceptional experience who is demonstrably far from your values is a smart decision. Depending on the role, those hard skills can be developed and is a better investment that is less disruptive.
They have a greater chance of staying with your business, progressing, and their positive attitude alignment means they are more likely to work hard as well as collaboratively. This is even more essential for smaller businesses that are closely knit or are engaged in a high-intensity work environment.
What Will Values-based Recruitment Do For My Business?
In a nutshell, endless positives.
When you find employees that fit your hard-won culture it ensures that everyone on your team focuses on the same principles and works with the same beliefs and aspirations.
We’ll take a look at some of the main advantages of recruiting this way.
Positive Work Environment
When an employee naturally clicks with the established work culture, it creates a happier environment for both new and existing employees. High staff morale means less absenteeism and a deeper connection to their company and colleagues. This usually encourages better relationship building between workers since they already share some or many core values. For the employer, this also usually translates to a willingness to work hard, produce their best efforts, and increased worker retention.
Employees who have company values intrinsically embedded on a personal level tend to be highly engaged in their roles. This is positively reflected in their enjoyment at work. Their eagerness to go to work/do their job, and want to achieve a high level of competency the first time on a task and every time thereafter. Engaged employees develop client relationships more easily because their enthusiasm shines through. Their longevity of service is also likely to be much longer than those who ‘check out when they check in’.
All of the aforementioned combined leads to high business morale. A strong culture combined with perpetual positivity inevitably yields higher productivity overall. They are inextricably linked. A powerful demonstration of why it pays to pay attention to your corporate culture and nurture it as a necessity. Ultimately it will affect the bottom line of your business.
Increased Employee Retention
Happy, engaged employees are less likely to look elsewhere for employment if their needs are being met. Fostered by a healthy atmosphere that includes being challenged and developed, being fully engaged in the workplace, and feeling valued, you can expect employees to grow with the business. And this also goes some way to succession planning and creating independent employees so that the business can run without the boss running the day to day minutiae.
So How Do We Start Implementing This?
Ensure your values are nailed down first, and then look at recruitment.
To avoid using our minds too subjectively, which is only natural, we need to prevent bias and prejudiced decision making. We will otherwise miss some cracking opportunities as employers. To that end, technology can help eliminate some of those issues.
Map Your Company Values
This isn’t the same as choosing your core values. Rather it narrows down the beliefs, traits, and behaviours you think are most relevant to successfully representing those core values.
What are the everyday behaviours and actions that you want to see in your employees (including yourself)?
There are a number of methods for personality assessment or talent measure. Using behavioural science you can better predict the traits and behaviours that will make a candidate better suited to your company. This can help you bypass those who might be wholly unsuitable.
Evaluate the six primary personality traits and establish if a candidate is a good fit. This includes measuring: introvert-extrovert, emotionality, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and honesty-humility.
This isn’t to say that this should be the only metric you consider. But it can be useful for identifying those who at first glance don’t appear to align. There’s that subjectivity again thanks to our own personal bias!
Have an idea of the score threshold for putting people into the next stage of recruitment and stick to it. It won’t always be the ones who score highest who perform and you must take into account hard skills as well.
There are a lot of online options that can help keep this cost-effective and highly affordable.
Video Recorded Answers
Another popular step is using video recorded answering to interview questions when shortlisting. Then decide who to do a live interview with. Not the same as live online interviews. If you have questions that a candidate records a video answer to, you can better grasp their communication style. See their personal presentation and if they are a good fit.
By sharing them, multiple people can be involved in the assessment without intimidating the candidate.
Ensure Your Values Operate Top-Down
It’s not enough to say, “These are our company values and what we stand for” if they aren’t tangible in the business every day. When looked at from a recruitment perspective you need to ensure that your adverts reflect those values too.
Include them in an advert for each and every role regardless of department, management level, or skill set required. It has to be a part of the company DNA if you want a strong work culture to flourish. Recruit the right people to be a part of it.
Having a focused recruitment process that zeroes in on values as a critical component of hiring new employees has numerous advantages and benefits. Eliminate the merry-go-round of hiring and firing and getting it patently wrong. Get on with doing what you do best.
Which is ultimately growing that business and being successful. Recruit smarter and you will.