Hiring people that are consistent with your company’s values is essential for high levels of employee retention and success (forbes.com).
In order to limit attrition, recruiters and hiring managers are not only responsible for correctly assessing the values of a potential hire, but to openly and honestly communicate the values and culture of the organization to a candidate, allowing them to make their own assessment on suitability.
It is easier to train people to cover skill gaps than it is to change their values to align with your company’s.
When I am engaged by a client for a specific mandate, before I even begin putting together a job advertisement, a thorough briefing with the client is important to gain an intimate understanding of the hiring manager and company’s needs.
My briefing discussions unveil the values needed for the new hire to be successful in my client’s organization, which allows me to bring their brief to life and work as an extension of the company.
Once I understand the values that are important for the client – is it Collaboration? Respect? Innovation? I convey those values through detailed job advertisements and educating the candidates.
This process includes advising candidates on career websites they can visit, company social media accounts they can view or suggest someone they could connect with who is an existing or previous employee of the company to help understand their values and workplace atmosphere.
Having in-depth knowledge of my clients and their teams, I also take the opportunity in initial interviews to share some of that information with the candidate and making them understand not only the role expectations but also the sort of behaviors that are promoted in the organization.
When a role requires particular values, I structure my interviews and assessments to gauge a candidate’s suitability specifically in that area.
Following my own interviews with candidates I present an extremely detailed candidate summary to my client and have a calibration session with them covering not only the candidates’ technical skills but also the soft skills, the way they presented themselves, what would motivate them and any areas that might require further probing.
Just to give an example, I recently recruited for a global consulting firm who required a short-term project team with key technical skills, but teamwork was also highly valued.
I worked with my client to comprehensively understand how the team members would be required to interact, and devised an assessment centre environment which would allow me to appraise candidates’ teamwork. I challenged the candidates to improvise in different scenarios, such as how they might prioritise team versus personal goals, to ascertain their soft skill strengths.
What made the assessments so effective was interpretation of the values required by my client and designing a robust assessment process that gave a good insight into the person behind the résume, which ultimately led us to hire a successful project team for the client, achieving their objectives with zero attrition over the three-month assignment.
Personality tests are another tool which can be used to help determine a candidate’s values and suitability for your organisation or reveal soft skills that should be explored intensively in further assessments.
While hiring candidates that are consistent with your values, it is advisable to have multiple stakeholders in the interview process as this helps eliminate any bias and it also allows you to compare notes on the candidate from different viewpoints and hire a candidate that is culturally fit. Additionally, meeting with multiple stakeholders gives candidate an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s culture.
Another good practice is to give prospective hires further insight into the work environment with a tour of the office before a formal offer is released. This is a practice we also undertake at Kelly, bringing potential internal hires around our new activity-based work spaces.
If the potential hire is aware of the company’s values and culture in advance of an offer of employment, then they are able to make an informed decision and there are no surprises for them upon commencement.
Equally, as a recruiter I aim to ensure hiring managers are able to make an informed decision about extending an offer to the right talent who aligns with their organisation’s values by working in close partnership with them.
Please connect with me to share your thoughts on selecting the right candidate for your company’s values.
Author: Jasmine Kad is a Senior Consultant with Kelly Executive.