How to Hire Based on Values

TSP • @myTSPnet


Prioritizing your company’s values when hiring is essential for developing office culture and establishing best practices. Employees who inherently possess your company’s values at their time of hire will integrate into the office more easily, be more productive in teams and are more likely to stay with your company for a long period of time. This goes beyond hiring within the “company fit,” meaning hiring people who look and sound like the majority of existing employees. Instead, focus on finding employees who mirror your brand and genuinely care about your core values.

Before you can hire off of your company’s values, it's essential to humanize your values so that they can be woven into your employee’s everyday lives. Ask questions like, “how can we embody this value” and “how can this company encourage this value?”

When searching for jobs, applicants are more attracted to roles and companies that reflect their personal values, so the job posting, sourcing approach and screening should all encompass your values. Make sure the job ad is in your company’s voice. Use this opportunity to have your current employees read the job posting and ask them if it feels in-line with their daily experiences.

Furthermore, have a current employee answer what they would be looking for if they were hiring to fill their own position. From this, certain characteristics will stand out as especially important, which you should prioritize when sifting through applicants.  

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates and started the interview process, make sure you're asking the right questions. The questions you have prepared should consistently reflect the values your company strives for. Also, look out for keywords and behaviors in the candidates’ responses, both in line and out of line with your values.  

It’s important to interview your applicants based on values first, then examine their skills and experiences. The applicants’ cover letters and resumes will indicate if they are qualified for the job, but their values may not be as obvious. Ask situational questions that will demonstrate their approach to problem-solving, teamwork, learning, collaboration or other important areas. 

Ideally, your company will interview candidates who describe past behaviors and achievements that aligns with the values of your company. In the interview, be sure to ask for particulars, such as, “what specific steps did they take to overcome a challenge or succeed on a project?”

If you’re looking for an employee who values personal drive and self-motivation, you might ask your applicants to describe a time they had to really stretch themselves at work. If service is a key-value, you could ask for examples of instances where they went above and beyond for a customer, and how they knew the customer was satisfied.

In your new hire’s first weeks of work, place a strong emphasis on demonstrating and communicating company values. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have your new hire begin the onboarding process with the CEO, who can directly demonstrate the company’s values and what is most important.

To further guarantee your new employees have a full understanding of your company’s values, be open and clear with them about the reality of the job from day one. For example, if prosperity is one of the company’s values, part of the process from the first day could be to share financials and the overall state of the business with the new hire.

Every successful company relies on employees who fit well with its core values, which are the principles that define your company and shape day-to-day decisions. Hiring based on your values is essential, as employees who do not fit the company’s culture will ultimately diminish the culture. New hires who do not inherently share the company’s values will detract from the essence that makes your company’s identity. However, if you prioritize hiring on values and company culture, it helps assure the continued success of your company leading to higher retention, better employee engagement and deeper connections.