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How can you consider your company’s values when recruiting?

HR News |  23/02/2017
How can you consider your company’s values when...Your company’s values may not be the first thing you consider when setting out to recruit new employees, but it is something that might make a significant difference in attracting and hiring top talent.

Ensuring that you’re open about your values from the beginning of the recruitment process can help your business position itself in the right space to find the best people.

Each company’s values are different and this can affect the sort of personalities you want to have working in your team. For example, if your business and your existing employees value teamwork and collaboration, you won’t appreciate someone whose ambition extends solely to seeing how far ahead they can get.

On the other hand, there are companies that highly prize that sort of individualistic attitude, so whether someone like that will fit in is entirely dependent on your firm’s values.

Establishing your values

It may sound obvious but the first step towards considering your company’s values when recruiting is to work out what they are and make sure they are something that potential employees in your sector will share and embrace.

This is typically something that will affect smaller companies and startups, who have perhaps achieved some success and have begun expanding. Chris Moody, general manager of data and enterprise solutions at Twitter, has said he thinks of values “as the guiding principles or a code of conduct upon which a company was founded and which it operates on a daily basis”.

Mr Moody added that values are “100 per cent controlled by the company and should be unaffected by competitors, market conditions” or anything else.

When working out what it is that’s most important to your company, looking at your current employees will be a good barometer. Look at what they have in common and extrapolate from that to work out if it’s something that your company views as a value.

What you should be aware of is that values are not the same as company culture, although they do certainly feed into the latter.

Are they flexible?

Once you know what your values are, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is you’re looking for in a new employee. This will go a long way towards helping you find the right person or people.

It then becomes possible to screen applicants for the ones who explicitly share your firm’s values prior to inviting them to interview. This is where a recruitment agency like the Ashdown Group can help.

There are times, however, when an applicant to a role is exceptional but they don’t share your values. You then have to work out whether they are flexible, or if your company cannot compromise its values for one potential employee.

You will have to consider how this applicant’s potentially contrasting attitude and opinions might affect your current workforce, whether they are likely to feel uncomfortable with certain aspects of working life and if they are likely to remain with your company for a long enough period of time for it to be worth possibly going against its values.

If this particular applicant has the necessary skills and you haven’t found anyone else who could compare, perhaps you could work out a solution. Could they work from home? Is your business able to adjust its priorities? It’s important to be able to use what information you have at your disposal to predict whether this potential employee might be worth it.

The onboarding process

If you’ve managed to find someone who does embody your company’s values, you should ensure that they are fully updated about their importance during their onboarding period. If they have shown that they embrace those values, this should be a simple process since they’ll already have that state of mind.

It’s important to plan ahead in order to ensure that you have covered every aspect that could prompt a question.

The new hire’s fellow employees will play a significant part in helping them adjust to the new environment and values. During the recruitment process, you should encourage your workforce to share the business’ values with their new colleague, showing them at every opportunity.

By Jon Aspinell

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