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How you can hire candidates with the right values

Posted in Employers on Sep 08, 2016 by Rejuvenate Productions

At the end ogary-kingf July, Gary King, Managing Director of Tendo posted a very interesting article about how values will help you grow a sustainable business. The article was based on a job advert in a farm shop window which read:

“We are looking for exceptional individuals who are passionate about food and who are used to working in a busy customer facing environment. Previous experience would be great but this is not essential because our focus is on finding really passionate foodies who care about great service, who want to learn more, inspire others and who are not afraid of hard work. The most important stuff is positivity, personality and the ability to make people smile.”

The article goes on to discuss the importance of company values and hiring candidates that share those values. This article raises some really good points.

Having strong company values benefits you as a business because it clearly lays out what kind of company you are. Having employees that share in those values will mean you are more likely to achieve the company mission and vision.

So just how do you make sure that you:

a)     Attract candidates that have strong values

b)     Hire candidates that share your company values

What are your values?

First things first. Before you can identify the values you want in candidates you need to establish exactly what your company values are. Loyalty, integrity, honesty, excellence, passion, quality; which values are most important to your business and are these clearly communicated?

Having core values is very beneficial and not just when it comes to hiring new candidates. Many big brands have clearly defined their values and lay these out on their website. Companies such as Mcdonalds, Starbucks and Apple all have core values which they expect their employees to work to.

This example is from Coca Cola (you can view the full version on their website):

Live Our Values

Our values serve as a compass for our actions and describe how we behave in the world.

Leadership: The courage to shape a better future

Collaboration: Leverage collective genius

Integrity: Be real

Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me

Passion: Committed in heart and mind

Diversity: As inclusive as our brands

Quality: What we do, we do well

Have you defined the core values for your company? When you have identified your values, you will have a better understanding of what to look for when hiring new employees.


Are you demonstrating these values?

Once you have a clear set of values you need to make sure that you and everyone in your business is adhering to them. They need to be consistent within every area of your business.

Good candidates will research your company and they should be able to see those values throughout your website, brochure and any social media accounts. If you are communicating your brand values then a candidate will understand exactly what kind of business you are and whether they want to be part of it.

Make sure that every employee understands these values and reflects them in their work. A potential candidate should be able to see these values being displayed by everyone they come into contact with at your company.

Include values within the job description

In the example above from the farm shop we can clearly see what they value; hard work, passion for food, great service, positivity. You need to make it clear in your job descriptions and adverts what kind of person you are looking for not just what experience or qualifications they should have.

As the saying goes; “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Make sure you are specifically asking for candidates that have certain qualities or values. You don’t have to outline every value in the description; maybe focus on one or two that you feel are most vital to that particular role.

Communicate your values to everyone in the hiring process

Depending on your recruitment process you may have several people coming into contact with the candidates before they even interview.

If you are using a professional recruitment company to sort through applications and screen candidates then make sure they understand what to look out for on top of experience and qualifications.

You will need to establish which areas are absolutely vital for the role. You don’t want a room full of honest, passionate candidates who don’t have the required qualifications. Equally, you don’t want to turn away someone early in the process that has all the right qualities and values but is just missing experience in a specific area.

Ideally you want a good balance of experience, qualifications and values.

Look for values when interviewing

A good interview will have structure and set questions for each candidate. These questions should be written in a way that help you identify whether the candidate shares your company values or at least understands what they are.

There a various ways you can get information from candidates about their values:

Direct Questions- You may wish to include some questions that are directly related to values. Questions such as “what do you think are your three best qualities”, “what values are most important to you in business”.

Scenario based questions/role plays- This can be a good way to understand a person’s values as you are getting the candidate to show how they would act in a certain situation.

Competency based questions- ask for a specific example of when someone has demonstrated a desired value or quality. “Give an example of a time when you have delivered exceptional customer service”.

Whatever format of questioning you decide on, you need to understand the purpose of your question. What do you want the candidate to demonstrate in their answer?

It is a good idea to interview with somebody else so that you can get their feedback and observations too. They may have picked up on things that you hadn’t noticed.

Behaviour around the interview

Often we can get a measure of what kind of person someone is by how they conduct themselves outside the actual interview.

How did they speak to other employees when they arrived? Were they friendly? Were they impatient? Were they rude and abrupt? How did they act when they left? Did they say goodbye to the receptionist? Did they acknowledge other employees when they exited?

You can also look for things such as were they on time? Did they take time to prepare for the interview? Have they done any research? Did they dress appropriately? The way that somebody acts around an interview is just as important as how they behave in the interview itself.

Making the decision

Once you have interviewed your candidates you need to make sure that you are making the right decision. Take your time discussing each candidate with other interviewers and your recruitment consultant. Recruitment consultants can often identify areas of concern based on what they have picked up from the candidate before and after the interview. If you interviewed by yourself then make sure you consider each candidate closely.

A candidate may have blown you away with answers about their skills and experience but did they display desirable qualities.

If you are in any doubt about a candidate then prepare some follow up questions and arrange another interview. You may even decide to use psychometric testing. The Talent Q Drives assessment can be a very good way to identify the values and motivations of an individual.

There are a lot of benefits to hiring people who share your company values. Recruiting a high standard of candidates will encourage applications from quality candidates going forward. Eventually you will build a team full of people with good values and a strong work ethic. With a team of passionate people behind you, your company will be better positioned to achieve its objectives.

tendoTendo  are business experts and help companies develop strategies and grow their business. Gary King, has spent more than 25 years in business, tackling just about every business issue and opportunity you are likely to encounter. Gary fulfils many roles for businesses across the UK – sounding board, wise man, mentor, non-exec director – but at the heart of it all is a desire for business owners to live the life they dreamed about when they first started their business. If you would like more information then visit their website for more details.

Here at Key Appointments we can help you with all areas of recruitment on a project and consultancy basis. 

If you would like more information on how we can help you attract and retain the best talent then contact us on 0844 504 4666 or by email

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