Do you appoint a new recruit based on their skills to meet the job criteria alone, or do you look at the bigger picture and take into account the applicant’s attitude, views and values?

Recruiting for Values

Back in 2013, the NHS introduced Value Based Recruitment (VBR) as a way of improving culture and behaviour and increase the level of care and compassion in the NHS. The message was that people working for the organisation had to demonstrate the values and behaviours to match the modern NHS ethos, not just have the skills and academic history. An approach which many private sector organisations are now following.

Value-Based Recruitment starts by attracting job candidates whose personal values align with your company culture. This gives you a pool of candidates who not only will have the skills you need for the tasks, but also the attitude and values needed to enable them to become an integral part of your organisation successfully.


Switching to this style of recruitment may require training your recruiting managers and reviewing your processes.  The investment needed is validated against the benefits received when you employ those with the same values and ethos as your organisation.

The benefits include:

  • Increased staff retention
  • Improved staff engagement
  • High levels of staff satisfaction
  • Greater teamwork
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved customer service

Steps to take

The first step is to establish your organisation’s values and document them. Share the details on your website and ensure that your values are communicated widely and that as an organisation you are publicly accountable for them.  Your job description should include the core competencies reflecting your organisation’s values which can then be included in your performance management process, annual Performance Appraisals and be a key part of your annual work plan. Your learning and development programme should be linked to the promotion and growth of these values.

Value-Based Recruitment is only going to be successful if the values are “real” and are at the very heart of your organisation and how you conduct your business and look after your staff.

The second step is to ensure that your vacancy advertisement focuses on the values you seek, and that should an applicant look at your website, and job descriptions, it is clear how these values are at the core of the business.

And finally, consider the selection process. Think about using a validated assessment, or role-play scenario. Look at how your questions can establish values and attitudes, not just academic skills and experience. In VBR, establishing how your candidates will deal with a stressful situation or a difficult conversation with a colleague or customer, is seen as just as valuable as understanding their level of IT use or financial information analysis. Ensure that your questions are identifying those values which are necessary for the role and reflected in the job description.

The result should be a new member of the team who will represent your organisation positively, be engaged and have a  long and successful career with you.

If you would be interested in learning more or having a review of your job descriptions, recruitment process or interview skills, we would be happy to provide the HR support that you need.  We would love the opportunity to make a difference to your organisation and help you achieve the results you need. Call on 01473 360160 for a chat about how we can support you.

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