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The era of value-led recruitment

Matt Goodman (Director, Auricoe) and Gerry Ashison (Director, Auricoe)

What do Forrest Gump, Bridget Jones and James Bond have in common? It certainly isn’t Hollywood’s next blockbuster. The answer lies in the depiction of super-strength values.

Forrest is the epitome of integrity who never stopped running towards a challenge. The teamwork and commitment of Bridget’s friends helped her through passion-fuelled predicaments. Meanwhile 007’s autonomy got him in and out of harm’s way. The unlikely trio embraced their values, captivating audiences.

Unpredictable times have glued viewers to their own life stories of late.  Pressing pause during this intermission and reflecting on what is important to them – a path of self-discovery leading straight to their core; their values.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines values as “The beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important in life. Things that we think we should do; correlating with positive life goals.

Personal values develop from a melting pot of influence: our upbringing, surroundings, interaction with peers, and the laws of the land.  A medley of nurture, over nature.  They’re a set of beliefs that we pursue relentlessly and strive to defend and safeguard” (Halim, 2005).  By definition, our values are “right”, so it’s easy to see how conflicting values can impact working life.

Organisations have emptied bulging war chests in the quest to identify collective core values.  The motivation for doing so is well researched. “Within a workplace, values are seen as a key component of organisational culture” (Schein, 1985) and are “the principles used to measure the successful management of many organisations” (Meglino & Ravlin, 1998), providing a clear incentive to wear values like a coat of arms across homepages and career portals.

Those that take things a step further, living and breathing these values, reap huge rewards.  Brands become iron-clad.  There is a consistency of approach – an unwritten code of conduct.  These guiding principles become the Face ID of an organisation, making it easy to stand out and impossible to imitate – competitive gains that would make any Olympian proud.  However, the podium is reserved for a different category – that of recruitment.

Pinpointing your core values shores up decision-making.  You acquire an instinct for weighing up critical issues.  Is it now time to stand firm on a project objective, or show willing to budge for the good of the team?  Which job is best, do I opt for promotion, or jump two-footed into a new career? These conundrums are commonplace.  Values defeat the countdown clock.

Salary and location are no longer the fodder of choice for job hunters, with culture and corporate identity, firmly within the winner’s enclosure.  Values don’t only guide action; they inspire it, creating greater productivity, innovation and success. “It is proven that there is a positive relationship between employees’ individual and organisational values, organisational culture and job satisfaction” Danuta Diskiene & Vytautas Gostautas (2010).

HubSpot, ADP, and Zoom are all shining beacons. These cool companies of today face minimal challenge in attracting and retaining a happy flock. The mystery that we set out to solve is how do organisations lacking a unicorn valuation, attract the right people and keep them engaged?

The solution? Values.

Attracting individuals that align with who you are and how you operate, creates a winning formula. We call this approach values-led recruitment.

Personality and behavioural tests are the TikTok of the screening world; the Big Five and Myers-Briggs being two of the most popular. Employers garner insight into working style. They glimpse patterns of thinking and feeling, with results significantly influencing recruitment outcomes. Differing personalities lead to a diverse workforce, and this is essential in maximising productivity. But personality is only part of a person’s story.

Values are our driving force, dictating critical decisions – how we set goals, prioritise our time, and manage our emotions. Unaffected by mirroring or mood, they remain consistent, no matter the day’s events. They shape our future decisions, while AI and data analytics predictions are based on the past. When a union exists between personal and company values, teams work, and organisations succeed.

Values-led recruitment saves time and unlocks doors. “Values…influence relations between employees and their decisions to commit to or leave organisations” (Tuulik et al., 2005). An approach meaning fewer keyword searches, crowded inboxes, and silent rejections.

Track and trace apps would sooner tail COVID-19, over most CVs, but Coronavirus isn’t the only pandemic we face. A staggering 87% of the global workforce is disengaged (State of the Global Workplace Report, Gallup) – an alarmingly high figure.

A job with purpose results from a search with purpose. Values-led recruitment creates a personalised and targeted approach, discovering companies that fit your mould. Your core values stand front of house and ignite the conversation. They are the underlying synergy between employer and employee.

The individuals that evolve and thrive know their guiding principles, enabling them to embrace change.

We’re talking genuine engagement, a real sense of purpose and sky-high morale.  Careers flourish. The workplace becomes a happy place.

Lock in on what matters most.

Use values led-recruitment to make the right career choice every time.

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