You can teach a new employee to use specialized software, write a press release, even organize a conference call — but can you teach them to be trustworthy, compassionate, and ethical? Personal values matter, but they are often overlooked during the hiring process.

Value-based hiring is the idea of employing people whose values align with the business culture of your organization, rather than hiring candidates solely for their skills and experience. For example, you may be looking for an employee who demonstrates reliability, strong leadership skills, and an appreciation of diversity in addition to having a good track record.

Hiring based on values can help you:

  • Create a strong organizational culture
  • Promote ethical behaviour
  • Increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover

Uncovering personal values during the hiring process can be challenging. Ask open-ended or situational questions to encourage interviewees to open up about themselves. It is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers — you're trying to get insight into the candidate's character. You could also ask candidates to participate in an activity that would allow you to observe how they interact with others.

If you are looking for someone with strong leadership skills, you could ask them to describe a situation where they led a team. In a group interview, you could observe candidates completing a group challenge that requires them to interact with others, solve problems, and exhibit leadership.

It is also important to give potential employees the opportunity to learn about your business. Be clear about your business's values — you want potential hires to be able to opt out of the hiring process if they don't feel like the position will be a good fit.

Hiring based on values takes time and effort, but it can help you find the best candidate for the job. Check out our Attract and keep talented employees blog for more tips on attracting outstanding employees. You can also visit our section on Hiring employees to learn more about the recruitment process.