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Putting your values at the centre of your recruitment process

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Your organisation's culture and values are integral to everything you do. Considering them while actively building them into your recruitment process is an important way to help ensure you hire the best candidate.

Considering Your Organisation’s Culture

What is an organisation’s culture? As a basic definition, it can be defined as ‘how we do things around here’. It drives the purpose, values and behaviour across an organisation

Our experience of recruiting senior leaders has taught us that understanding an organisation’s culture is absolutely critical to defining the key behaviours that will guide the conduct of the person undertaking the role. So if you don’t already have a clear picture of the vales of your company, it’s worth taking some time to understand them before you make a strategic recruitment decision.

Tools such as the Collins Porras Vision Framework or Strategyzer’s Culture Map can be really useful, helping to guide the process to truly understand ‘what really goes on around here’ and start a discussion on uncovering, or rediscovering culture in your organisation.

Whilst there is more to culture than organisational values, for the scope of a recruitment exercise, focusing on values will give you a good indication of the behaviours you’re looking for in a candidate.

What are values?

When we refer to values, we’re talking about the system of guiding principles which set the standard for behaviours that are culturally acceptable in an organisation. Everyone in the organisation should share and understand the values, with leadership should exemplify them daily to foster authenticity and trust.

In essence, values are the organisations DNA.

  • Values are essential and enduring. While policies and plans change, values don’t.
  • Values are likely to have been present at the beginning of the organisation and will be present forever.
  • Finally, values define the organisation’s identity. If the values are removed, the organisation would look entirely different.

An understanding of the values can be built into recruitment processes to help bring greater alignment within the team. They're also useful when you're developing your person specification in your strategy.

Carry out a 10-minute values assessment.

A few examples of core values include:

  • Science-based innovation - Merck
  • Being a pioneer—not following others; doing the impossible - Sony
  • Fanatical attention to consistency and detail - Walt Disney
  • Get stuff done, excellently - Wellmeadow

To start, write a list of potential values for your organisation:

Evaluate each potential value you have listed, based on the questions listed below. If you answer “Yes” to most of the questions, there is a good chance it is a core value of your organisation.

  • If this value put us at a competitive disadvantage, would we still hold this value?
  • If this value isn't important to our market in 10 years’ time, would it still be core to us?
  • How does this value resonate with our sense of personal and corporate identity?
  • If you had enough money to retire, would you continue with this value?
  • Is this value still valid in 100 years’ time?
  • Do the leaders exhibit this value?

Considering your team dynamic with psychometric profiling

Our recruitment philosophy is that candidate selection is best done as part of a team. Involvement of the senior team helps to create a greater sense of ownership, helps to reduce bias and giving the successful candidate the approval of the majority of the board/ senior team.

As part of this, understanding what drivers the behaviour of the senior team can be incredibly insightful. Using psychometric profiling is a powerful tool to generate this deeper understanding of individual and team dynamics, including:

  • Preferred communication styles
  • Preferred management style
  • Decision-making frameworks
  • Strengths/Weaknesses
  • Key psychological drivers/motivators

The data from a psychometric profile can be helpful with onboarding of successful candidates and their integration into the broader team. Using the same psychometric tool for candidates and for the senior management team helps to create a common experience and language for discussing issues.

For example, on our team, we share our profiles with each other which helps us communicate more effectively with an appreciation for how we each think, react and work under pressure.

One last thing

Considering your organisation’s culture, values and team dynamic will make your recruitment process more robust, and ultimately, more successful.

For more information on how to recruit more successfully in your organisation, download our FREE eBook ‘Is It  Time to Recruit Well? '

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