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A Comprehensive Guide to Values Based Hiring

15 min read

Recruiting the right talent for the right role is a tough job, there is no guarantee that the candidate will perform and deliver on their skills the same as they did in their interviews and assessments once they are put into the role. 

Companies are more focused on value-based hiring now to acquire talent that wants more than just a pay check at the end of the month. They look for candidates that believe in their purpose and whose values align with the company’s core values. 

According to a Gallup report only 21% of employees globally are actively engaged in their work and only 33% of employees are thriving in their wellbeing, these numbers are really small. The report also says “Global engagement and wellbeing remain stable, but not great.” 

So how can an organization overcome and improve this disconnect and unlock long term productivity? The answer is values  

What is value-based hiring and how is it changing recruitment? 

In theory, value-based recruitment refers to the approach that is used for attracting new talent. This approach aims at hiring the right people with not just the right skills but also the right values. It is a strategic approach that prioritizes on some core beliefs and values to attract talent and promotes them. 

Some processes may be exclusively values-based, while others might have a mix of values and competencies, this is known as a Competency and Values Framework (CFV).  

The values in CVF are expressed in terms of behaviour. Competencies are usually behaviours (sometimes other technical attributes) that are directly related to effective job performance. The idea behind these approaches is to ensure fair, objective, reliable, and valid assessment methods.   

While this kind of recruitment was commonly found in support, care, and education-oriented businesses, companies in other industries have started to adopt its principles because of the multiple benefits it brings to the table. 

If an organization has a shared value-base, there is no denying that it provides direction, commonality, and ownership to the employees working in it. Plus, it helps staff members to become a part of the company by aligning their career goals with the company objectives. 

Value Based Hiring Infographic

How it benefits your organisation?

There have been many studies over the years evaluating the effectiveness of value-based hiring and its functions. In a nutshell, prioritizing core values throughout the recruitment process gains a massive advantage when it comes to finding a candidate who is a right fit for your brand. When organizations focus on core values in their daily work life, all members of the team work with the same consistency and aspirations. 

The benefits of value-based recruitment are not limited to just having all the employees on the same page, it offers many other benefits as well as listed below: 

Healthy and Progressive work environment

Companies use the value-based recruitment strategy to create and promote a healthy work environment for both new and old employees. A positive work culture keeps the employees motivated and productive as they enjoy their work and stick to their jobs.
This eventually translates to employee satisfaction, better performance, and higher retention.
When employees are fully aware of the values and work culture of their organization, they feel comfortable.
They try to adopt these values in their work styles. Not only this, but shared values of team members also play a vital role in strengthening the relationship between the employees.  

Improved Productivity

A positive work environment is an important contributor for the improved productivity of the employees. It increases employee involvement, and organizational culture, and improves employees’ relationships. As mentioned earlier, a healthy work culture keeps employees’ morale up and improves their engagement. Which means, in a positive work environment, employees are more involved and engaged in giving their all. And that is what increases their productivity.
Employees put more effort into their work when they find that their organizational values are aligned with their own principles and values. Working in this kind of environment helps employees connect to their work deeply.
A comfortable work environment allows employees to work more efficiently and create beneficial outcomes. Plus, employees like to invest more in their roles to become more productive when they know the company’s values add to their personal and professional growth. 

Improved staff morale

It is worth noticing that when an organization and its employees share the same goals, it benefits both the parties. One of the significant benefits of adopting a value-based recruitment strategy is that it helps organizations find the most appropriate candidates who share common goals.
This strategy is very effective for creating a high-spirited team that is efficient and connected to their role.
Employees feel valued in the company with improved morale. They will be more confident and willing to deal with the challenges in their daily tasks. 

Reduced Turnover

Value-based recruitment is a strategy to attract the most suitable candidates. It is essential to remember that choosing candidates who share the same approach of work as your organization always results in increased profits.
They become the productive workers of the organization and help the company reduce employee turnover.
If an organization makes its workforce feel important and valued, they tend to work for a longer period. It boosts their confidence and enables them to put more effort in their work. Employees consider working hard for the company as their personal growth is aligned with it. 

Better Employee Engagement

Employees try their best to incorporate their own values into the company culture to become more engaged and productive in their work.
This kind of deep engagement with work keeps the employees excited and motivated about the work as they ensure to produce impeccable results.
Many studies show that more engaged employees are easy to retain and are likely to stay associated with the organization for a longer period.
Engaged employees are more productive and they facilitate the clients in a better way. This means a value-based recruitment strategy also fosters a better relationship with the customers. That means value-based recruitment can be beneficial for strengthening client relationships as well. 

Fineline between the company culture and company values 

Many perceive that the concept of “values” and “culture” is similar. While they do have similarities, they aren’t really the same, and it’s essential to understand the distinction. 

To put it briefly, values are eternal and they never change. For instance, the values that guide your business decisions can always include integrity, honesty, ethical behaviour, and respect for the dignity of others.  

Culture, on the other hand, is the way you implement your values. Culture must adapt and change with the times. The attributes of culture can include teamwork, cooperation, speed, persistence, and overcoming adversity. 

Let’s take an example of how technology had impacted the way people communicate within an organization. 

We have moved from pen and paper to teletype, then we got fax machines, and then email. We’re now exploring the latest instant messaging platforms as the next advance in communication. 

With each new technology being introduced, the culture of communication has changed, primarily by getting faster, which ultimately makes sure that we connect to our audience and each other in the most efficient way possible. Yet the value of open communication is eternal, regardless of what technology is being used. 

Regardless of the industry or profession, the candidates also try to find an employer that aligns with their desired values and culture. There will always be changes and challenges down the road, but, when they arise, a successful organization must adapt its culture to maintain its values. 

Fit for the culture to Addition to the culture  

Looking beyond culture fit candidates and seeing what candidates can add to the culture. According to a recent LinkedIn article “21 Ideas that will change our world”: 

“Psychologists find that in the face of threats to our jobs and our lives, we become more concerned about uncertainty and purpose. We’re looking for a sense of confidence that our jobs are secure and a sense of contribution to a cause larger than ourselves.” 

Which is why it is particularly important for us to consider values in our hiring strategy. 

diversity brings some economic and innovation benefits, but insisting on culture fit can deprive every one of these benefits. On the other hand, looking for values, can offer amazing insight into the attitude, character, work ethic, integrity, dedication, and accountability of candidates.  

It also helps in assessing a candidate’s ability to think strategically, contributing in the organisation’s long-term success. We need to move the organization’s workplace mission from pay check to purpose. And most importantly, this would require a culture that delivers this idea. 

As you hire a diverse group of candidates who have values that are different from each other, but each of these values are in some way, aligned with the organizational values. This diverse set of values can add to the culture that helps in having a culture that is flexible and adaptive. 

Values combating bias 

When it comes to assessing candidates for recruitment, the assessment should be as objective as possible, focusing on criteria that are more relevant to job performance, and excluding the ones that are not.  

Trained interviewers must follow a structured process that breaks the assessment process down into component parts and helps in avoiding bias. Another way of attracting the right talent that understands the values and competencies ahead of an interview is by promoting your company values in your job listings.  

You can use behavioural questions that assess the skills, adaptability and value-based tendencies of candidates layered into this. You can weed out any possible biases, by creating a universal format.  

All the interviews and assessment processes are flawed in one way or another, they are a mere snapshot in time, and can be subject to all sorts of human biases that can slither in due to too much or too little information however, by using methods such as VBR and CBF we can minimise these biases and get it right more often. 

Values shape culture 

Culture creates the foundation for strategy and can end up being a company’s greatest asset or largest liability. While culture may have many aspects, its core should always include a clear sense of purpose and values that guide the decision making across the organization. 

Corporate values shape the culture and define the organization’s character. 

When all the people in the entire organization share these values, it results in a company culture that is solid and stable at its foundations. 

Company values represent the guiding principles of an organization’s culture, which includes what guides the employees’ priorities and actions within the organization. Values clearly are an increasingly important component in strategic planning as they drive the direction and the intent of the organization’s leadership. 

Conclusion 

In a nutshell, value-based recruitment is a great approach in finding potential candidates who can parallel the organization’s values. However, it is a long and extensive process that requires specific steps and phases to be implemented to get successful outcomes. 

To create an effective value-based recruitment plan, you need to identify the values that are important to your organization. These values must be drivers of actions and behaviours of your organization.  

The invention of new technologies that help you in analyzing the traits and values of candidates has led to more effective recruitment decisions. Recruiters are now able to analyze the values of their existing team and can look for matching talents.  

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    Meet the author

    Balaji Sogathur

    Trying to get my head out of the world of anime and manga and adding bit of that flavor in my work is not just fun but also satisfying. My ignition on the creative engine never goes off, maybe you’ll see a bit of that in my puns.

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