When you think of your company’s values and beliefs, what comes to mind? Do they act as the guiding North Star for your organization? Or maybe they are merely words written on the wall…
Either way, values and beliefs are the heart of your company’s culture. By hiring candidates based on values and beliefs, you are held accountable for your organization’s standards. In return, this will increase hiring efficiency, improve performance and retention, and strengthen team diversity as a more robust workplace culture is being hired. You want to hire employees who agree with your company’s values and beliefs; ultimately adding to your culture.
Recruiting based on values and beliefs can be a slightly more difficult approach than the traditional hiring process, but the desired outcomes far exceed the effort required. This allows for your company culture to be nurtured and find the employees who will be considered an addition to your team’s quality.
Learn how to build a recruiting process in five simple steps focused on culture add by hiring based on values and beliefs.
1. Clearly Define Your Company’s Values and Beliefs
Spark Hire released a statistic that over 20% of employees either don’t understand their company’s culture or simply do not know what it is. You can eliminate the risk of this happening in your organization by continually and clearly defining the values and beliefs right from the beginning. As a C-level executive, live every day by your organization’s values and beliefs so it can becomes apparent to both management and employees what the company’s expectations are and how to strategically enroll them at work. Although, you shouldn’t be the only one consistently manifesting your culture. Create an environment where values and beliefs are continually acted upon by all. This will instill to potential candidates the importance of culture and what is expected of them.
One way to set clear expectations is by defining company values and beliefs in behavioural terms. This supplements the observable actions you demonstrate to your employees. Identify specific competencies related to these core values and beliefs and walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.
2. Promote Values and Beliefs During All Stages of the Recruiting Process
Once your company’s values and beliefs have been determined, have your People and Culture Manager embody these characteristics throughout all steps of the process. This ranges from the initial job posting, to the interview questions, to the job offer. When writing these documents, choose language and verbiage that reflects your business’ culture and relates back to your core values and beliefs.
Facebook’s VP of HR, Lori Goler recommends using polarizing language. During the recruiting process, Facebook will say the following to job candidates, “we expect you to have an impact on your very first day of work.” To some candidates, this is enticing and acts as a motivator, while to others, this is extremely overwhelming. This will give candidates the opportunity to self-select in (or out).
When it comes all the way down to the job posting, it should include more than just duties and responsibilities, it should also incorporate your organizational information including culture, values, and beliefs. Culture is a marketable feature for companies and can attract or defer candidates. Zappos writes job postings in a fun and attractive way, rather than posting a boilerplate for the company. In one of their recent job postings, they included details like “you are more flexible than an Olympic gymnast and can shift gears faster than this years’ Daytona 500 winner”, or list fun facts about the team that candidates are applying for, such as “we can eat 15+ Krispy Kreme donuts in a 20-minute timespan.” In the application process, they ask questions like, “If you could be a superhero which one would you be and why?”. Although this is a different approach than most, it proves to candidates Zappos instills a fun culture while driving home real business results.
3. Design Interview Questions Specific to Each Behaviour
By having the company’s values and beliefs clearly defined and communicated to all, your hiring team should have set expectations of who the ideal candidate is. Today, the ‘ideal employee’ isn’t necessarily the top performer, rather it’s someone who best manifests your culture. By keeping this in mind during the interview process, you can more easily hire for culture add.
Ask questions during the recruiting process that are specific to each behaviour you would like this ideal employee to exhibit. A way of doing this is to ask the candidate to provide a response, including an example, of how they demonstrated a particular value or belief. Apple values customer experience and they ask “name a time you went above and beyond for a customer”, followed by “explain a time you had to deal with an unruly customer.” This type of open-ended question allows for candidates to use qualitative attributes to describe their experience as well as include other characteristics they possess and value themselves.
By asking these specific questions, you will not only gain insight to each candidate’s potential cultural add, but you also have the opportunity to learn what they prioritize in the workplace, as well as what drives their actions and behaviours at work.
4. Observe Responses
If you are not able to be involved in all parts of the hiring process, it is recommended that your hiring managers are trained in recruitment practices and can assess compatibility. It is your responsibility to ensure it is evident what you are looking for in potential employees, the nature of questions being asked, as well as how responses should be interpreted by the hiring committee.
If you are able to sit in on interviews, we recommend listening closely to their responses to the values and beliefs based questions. Keep three things in mind:
- What was their response?
- The content of their response
- How easy did they answer the question?
By reflecting on these, you can gain further insight to the candidate. Another way to assess culture add is by observing their physical interactions throughout the process (other candidates, your leadership team, and current employees). Lastly, give them the opportunity to ask questions, and listen closely to what they ask. Think about the underlying personal values and beliefs they must exhibit to be driving that question.
5. Hire Those Who Share Your Core Values and Beliefs
We don’t mean to point out the obvious, but hiring based on culture add should be a top priority in your workplace. In the beginning, it was mentioned that hiring for cultural addition is a more difficult process than traditional hiring, but it is worth it. You are able to now hire those who share the ‘cultural DNA’ that will add to your company. Decide who are the best-fit candidates and who will be considered a cultural add, and offer them a position. Remember to remain unbiased!
Your organization is only as successful as the culture you create! The goal of hiring based on values and beliefs is to identify and hire the candidates whose skills and abilities supplement your company’s culture. Get out there and start culture building based on hiring for culture add. If you need some help, don’t be afraid to reach out – we’re here as a resource!
Fortay.ai is a predictive analytics platform for culture-first companies, helping them to build diverse and highly-effective teams with a data-informed approach. We make it easy to hire and retain talent for true culture add and nurture your company culture.
Get a quick start guide on keeping