Values-based recruitment is all about finding talent for your organisation that fits in terms of values, motivations, passions, interests, and organisational culture, as well as those all-important job-based skills and core competencies.
Whilst employing someone with the key skills they need to do the job is vital, with talent shortages in many industries – especially the tech industry – in New Zealand, it is more important than ever that organisations get a return on investment out of their recruitment processes, and ensure they are hiring candidates who believe in the company they are joining and share common values.
Many organisations have a set of values they are proud of, and you see these promoted on websites, sales and marketing material and sometimes referred to in recruitment resources.
However, values don’t exist just as slogans and words but should be embedded in strategy, structure and processes, including the all-important recruitment process.
Simply put, values-based recruitment is having a set of organisational values in place and hiring employees who are a good fit. It ensures that the people you bring in have similar values as the organisation and can demonstrate those values in action – for example, if one of your values is good communication, then the applicant would be assessed on how well they communicate.
There are many benefits of taking a values-based approach to recruitment, including:
Improving productivity, performance and collaboration – if you are hiring people who are a great cultural fit for your organisation, they will enjoy working for you, form great relationships, collaborate well, perform their best and be productive.
Improve your employee value proposition and brand – happy employees like to talk about their work and encourage others to work there. Your current employees are often your best advocates, and hiring those who fit your values fosters an excellent workplace culture and helps position your organisation as a desired organisation to work for.
Improve employee satisfaction and retention – when employees share the same values as the organisation they work at, they’ll feel important, valued, part of the team, and like what they do matters. They are more likely to want to progress their careers within the organisation and remain working for you for longer.
Widen your candidate base – if you hire people who fit your organisational well culturally, they may thrive and grow quickly within your organisation, even if they don’t tick all the boxes regarding technical skills or other competencies. Hiring for values is also hiring for potential!
Hiring someone on values does not mean creating a workforce that all thinks and acts the same. Diversity and inclusion ARE values of many organisations, so when applying values-based recruitment practices, it’s essential to be open-minded and consider the background and unique character of an individual.
You must implement values-based recruitment practices fairly and equitably. Be as objective as possible and follow a structured process from developing a recruitment plan and posting recruitment ads to interviews and selection to help avoid bias.
So, where do values-based practices come into different parts of the process?
Job descriptions and person specifications – think about how your organisational values overlay the core competencies/skills required in the role and weave those soft skills into your position description and person specification. Ensure values-based criteria like communication, teamwork, leadership and others are highlighted just as prominently as technical or other core job skills.
Ensure applicants are aware of your values – include your values in your job ads, position descriptions, and in other relevant places like your website careers page so that potential applicants can get a feel for your values and how they compare to their own.
Job posting and application process – clearly highlight values in any material relating to the job vacancy and make it clear that fit-for-values and culture are important for your organisation and the role. Be transparent about the fact you will be looking for a good match in terms of culture and values.
Interviewing and screening tools – use recruitment techniques and interviewing tools that identify values-based attributes such as values mapping, pre-employment evaluations, personality questionnaires/tests, and behavioural and values-based interview questions. Be wary of textbook answers and dig a little deeper if needed to find out more.
Test the waters with the wider team – as well as meetings/interviews with direct hiring managers, widen your recruitment process to include meet-and-greets with other team members to see how a potential new hire will interact with the team they will work within.
Cover cultural fit during reference checks – ensure you ask referees questions to assess fit to values.
Use a recruitment agency to run the process or help assess applicants – recruiters are experienced professionals and are used to assessing candidates in a fair and balanced way, whilst also ensuring the best fit for your organisation – both in terms of skills and cultural fit.
Remember that a values-based approach goes both ways – Live your values in your interactions with candidates and respect the values that drive them. Communicate in a timely manner, and if a candidate accepts your job offer, stay in touch, and consider inviting them to social events or other relevant meetups to keep communication open during the transition period. Ensure you have a great onboarding and induction process for new employees joining your business. If you are looking for a candidate with the attributes required to make money for your organisation, expect that the candidate will also have that value, and meet their salary expectations where appropriate.
When it comes to values, do not forget your existing employees. Our values evolve and change over time, so make sure you have programs and communications in place to reiterate your company values to your current employees, so they know how to apply your values to their role, themselves, and their relationships with clients, current employees, and incoming employees.
Talk about values in one-on-ones and performance reviews, consider reward and recognition programmes centred around your values, and, where possible, show and share examples of how your company lives its values via your internal communication channels, websites, and social media pages.
Values-based recruitment is an effective and beneficial way of finding potential candidates who will match the values of an organisation, perform well within it, and stay working for them for longer. However, it can be a complex process, requiring specific steps to ensure successful outcomes.
Recruit I.T. prides itself on utilising our expertise to balance cultural fit with the right skills and experience to ensure you get the right candidate. We work to ensure both candidate and client are satisfied and connect an exceptional person with the right organisation. Reach out to our team today if you are seeking talent for your business or looking for a new opportunity!