When you can’t find your ideal candidate, the last place you want to compromise is skills – right?
Wrong. You can always invest in training and development to bring a candidate’s skills up to speed if they aren’t an exact match – but you can’t change their personality. Hiring based on values and the right personal competencies will secure a longer-term success.than focusing on skills.
The intuitive approach for companies trying to save time and money is to look for someone with the exact skills for the open position. But someone who fits in well with the overall culture of the company, and the people they’ll be working with, is more likely to be the right choice and to stay in the job for the long haul.
People-oriented industries like education already hire based on values and personality and then train skills after hiring, because a candidate who doesn’t have the temperament for the role is clearly not going to work out. Now organisations in other fields, tired of hiring people who just see them as a step up the ladder, are starting to embrace values-based hiring while making it work for their needs via systematisation.
To hire based on values, you have to understand and be able to communicate what your company’s values are. Clearly communicated company values have been linked to greater consistency, productivity, and employee retention. They help you create a work environment centred on progress towards positive goals, which helps people stay motivated.
You also have to recognise that people’s professed principles don’t always reflect who they are at heart. Everyone tries to come across as professional and dedicated at interview – but you want to know how they’ll really behave under pressure.
The steps to hiring based on values:
Clearly define your company values.
Communicate them in your job postings and other recruitment materials.
Where possible, assess compatibility with pre-assessments like behaviour and personality tests (but remember that any self-reported measure of personality is inherently fallible).
Make your interviews more values-based by asking structured questions that illustrate values. For instance, to gauge how much candidates prioritise respect and cooperation, you might ask, “How would you design a work-friendly environment?”
Include group activities in the interview process to see what sort of role the candidate takes on in a group task.