How to hire the best talent with a Values-Based Recruitment Strategy

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

If you are experiencing a high turnover of new staff or struggling to find candidates, it might be time to change your recruitment strategy and consider a values-based recruitment approach.

Values-based recruitment is not a new concept and many businesses across the UK incorporate values-based interviewing into their recruitment process. Value-based interviews are more common in some sectors than others. The UK healthcare sector is finding it increasingly useful in recruiting the best employees and is widely used across the NHS.

High staff turnover due to poor alignment of culture or values can be costly to any business. The values-based recruitment approach will help attract and identify candidates whose individual values and behaviours align with those of your company enabling you to hire not only the most talented candidate but also someone invested in your company’s goals and ultimately who is more likely to stay with your organisation.

The first step to using values-based recruitment is to determine the values of your company. These values then become the standards against which candidates are compared. Some examples of common corporate values at work include integrity, collaboration, accountability, social responsibility, innovation and customer orientation.

As soon as your organisation’s values and culture are clarified internally, they should be promoted during the hiring process, including in the job description. Most companies simply post a job description listing duties and responsibilities, but by including information about company culture, mission and values, you can actively attract candidates whose values align with yours. The quality of these candidates will also be better since they should be able to determine whether they share your organisational values or not.

Once you have your short list of candidates for interviewing the next step is to prepare values-based interview questions to identify candidates who share your company values. These questions should help you understand whether candidates’ priorities align with your business goals, what candidates prioritise in the workplace and what drives their behaviour at work. For example, if your company champions collaboration, does the candidate enjoy working as part of a team?

Some examples of questions you might ask:

  • Tell me something you have taught yourself in the last six months?
  • Tell me about a situation where it was important you worked as part of a team?
  • One year from now, if you're part of the team at XYZ, how will you judge if your time here has been a success?
  • Tell me about your most significant technical accomplishment, the project that you’re most proud of.
  • Tell me about a mistake you've made? What did you do about it and what have you learnt from it?
  • Have you had an experience of using your integrity?

What to avoid in a values-based interview:

  • This approach relies on the interviewer to be engaged in the process and be willing to ask probing follow-up questions to get the most out of the interviewee so don’t rush the interview.
  • Ensure the questions don’t cross an ethical line. For instance, “What are the main lessons that you learned from your parents?”
  • Avoid asking non-specific hypothetical questions, i.e. “How would you deal with a conflict with a co-worker?” instead ask “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a colleague?”

And remember, once you’ve recruited your new employee it doesn’t end there. It’s important to bear in mind your values should align throughout the hiring and induction process. Your candidate’s experience should feel smooth and consistent, from initial contact through to their first week at work and beyond.