Values Based Recruitment: The Edge

April 27, 2016

Why do we use values in recruitment? It's easy:

  • They can predict future behaviour,

  • They are often unconscious so need identifying through the design of your recruitment process

  • They improve the quality of hire for your position

  • They build your recruitment capabilities

Yesterday I facilitated a session on a Masters in Human Resource Management at a University in the UK. The topic was recruitment and I could choose what to focus on to give the students an external perspective. With my previous recruitment experience as an IT Recruitment Consultant (first job after my law degree), recruiting within telecoms, the public sector (regional recruitment) as well as third sector I have a broad knowledge and experience of recruitment strategies. More recently I was the Project Manager for Mars Global Onboarding Project and designed a Recruiting The Vodafone Way training for Vodafone. It was on this piece of work that the impact and rationale of Values Based Recruitment was crystallised for me. Obviously as a practising Executive Coach I am interested in people's values and experienced in helping people to identify them and understand what that means for their behaviour. Values are important because they drive behaviour; they motivate us and give us clarity with decision making. Values are how we decide if things are right or wrong and they affect our emotions. Amongst other things values can tell us:

  • How we will respond to change

  • How we will deal with disappointments

  • What we will do when we are up against it

  • What causes us stress

  • If they have potential to progress

Why does this matter? It matters because recruiting a new person is expensive. Figures vary but as an example a report carried out by Oxford Economics reveals that replacing members of staff incurs significant costs for employers: £30,614 per employee. There are two main factors that make up this cost: The Cost of Lost Output while a replacement employee gets up to speed andThe Logistical Cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker. So maximising the opportunity to get the best persona and best fit for the role is critical to business success. Ensuring that there is a values alignment between the candidate, team and organisation is a huge part of this; making an accurate assessment of fit.

So take  moment right now to right down your own career values. 

Was it easy or was it hard. Generally people find that question hard as values tend to be held within our unconscious mind. So what can we do within the recruitment process to "unpeel the layers of the onion" to get to know the real person? Firstly there is a values elicitation exercise that could be used as part of the recruitment process which I have shared in a previous post. In addition there are questions that you can incorporate into your recruitment process. Here are a few examples:

  • Where are you an automatic yes or no?

  • Where do your values show up?

  • What are your wants versus your musts?

  • What values do you sell out on first?

In addition you can listen out for values in the answers that candidates give. Take a look at the examples below:

  1. “I’m really frustrated in my current role. Nobody recognises anything that I do”.

  2. “I enjoy being my own boss”.

  3. “I like to ensure everyone is happy”.

  4. “I have completed three courses in the last 12 months”.

  5. “I cant progress in my current role”

In the first it could be recognition. The second independence. The third peace. The fourth development and the fifth progression. Practising listening for values is so valuable. Answers like the ones above also offer a great opportunity in a  semi structured interview to chunk up or down. What do we mean by this?

Chunking up questions get to values, beliefs, life purpose. Questions to find these thing out in a conversation include "For what purpose? What will this get for you?". Chunking down questions get to the detail of the what, where, when who. For example "when is this a problem?", "who gave you that feedback?". Having flexibility in your questioning skills can mean the difference between identifying the right or wrong candidate for the job.

Lets also look at it the other way. Every recruitment interaction is a PR activity for an employer. In order to attract the best talent and maximise retention you need to ensure that the recruitment experience that you offer candidates accurately reflects your brand and organisational values. Does your organisation ensure that this is the case. What are the unique attributes of your recruitment process which reinforces your brand? Talent branding is the social, public version of your company brand that seeks to promote your company as being a great place to work so as to attract new talent. Companies are increasingly noticing the impact that a good brand and company culture has on their hiring process. Research from LinkedIn has found that costs per hire can be reduced by 50% and turnover rates lowered by 28% when a company has a strong talent brand in place. On top of this, three-quarters of talent acquisition leaders have said that talent brand significantly increases their ability to hire good talent.

If you'd like a copy of the values elicitation exercise then please message me. Good luck with your recruitment of the best candidate for your roles. I hope this post gives you some useful ideas that you can put into practice. 

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