Category Archives: PAP

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Taking Team Dynamics into Account During the Recruitment Process

Hiring often looks simple from the outside. An inside look shows a process complex enough to have thousands of studies dedicated to single aspects of recruitment. Companies spend millions on assessing, training, and hiring the right people to drive their companies, and for good reason. The right people can make or break a business.

People-fit is a crucial topic, and one that many companies don’t spend enough time on. Today, the lens of hiring is slowly shifting to look at aspects such as personality, behavior, and beliefs to create teams that truly work together.

Team dynamics are an incredibly important consideration, because they affect not just how one person works, but how an entire team will get along and work together.

Personality Type

Personality type is the first and one of the most important things to measure. In most cases, you should use personality assessments during initial employee screening. This can include something like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or another type of test. Competency and behavioral assessments are important as well, because they indicate what a person can do, why they would or would not do that, and how they do it.

Understanding personality type and behavior is key for determining where someone fits into a team. However, it’s equally crucial to have this information regarding existing team members.

Mapping Team Roles

Mapping team roles allows you to picture what you have in your team and then work to fill gaps. Various tools, typically models and frameworks, exist to help you do this. Look at assessments that can map out roles in successful teams, and the types of people who fit those roles. Your assessment provider should be able to assess multiple roles per individual, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for any candidate. That way, you can also keep your teams small with 3-5 people, and at the same time have every role filled (since each individual would be suited for multiple roles).

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is the concept of having a range of influences and background in a team. This allows individuals to influence, challenge, and push each other to excel in ways they wouldn’t on their own. Cultural diversity can be achieved by hiring diverse people, by building cross-functional teams, and by tearing down silos so that teams can work together and be exposed to new ideas, ways of thinking, and approaches.

Cognitive Diversity

Cognitive diversity, like cultural diversity, is about creating teams stemming from different backgrounds, with different thought processes, and different levels of education. This involves understanding how people work, how they use existing knowledge versus creating their own, and whether they tend to use their own expertise or leverage that of others. Strong teams require a mix of cognitive approaches.

Team Compatibility

While it’s important to introduce diversity, you also have to pay attention to compatibility. You don’t want everyone on the team to be the same, but you also don’t want people who will naturally clash. Understanding how different types of people work together (and don’t), will allow you to make better decisions. Diversity for the sake of diversity benefits no one when it means individuals cannot work together.

Strong team are composed of diverse individuals, typically with a range of backgrounds, cultures, and cognitive methods. Most also require a set number of skills such as a specialist, coordinator, and implementer to actually be productive. Understanding each team, who is on that team, and what they need to be most productive will help you to find and fit candidates into those roles to enhance the team.


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What Goes into Quality Employee Screening?

Employee screening functions to ensure only the right candidates make it to interviews. This serves the dual purpose of reducing time and investment spent at later steps and reducing the risk of a wrong hire. Screening can be as simple as a background check or as complex as a multi-pronged behavior, competency, and personality assessments alongside those (mandatory) checks.

In either case, your employee screening will determine who moves into hiring processes. Having quality screening in place will save your organization time and money and will work to ensure you don’t accidentally turn away quality candidates. These steps will help you to set up a quality screening process so your organization can hire the people it needs to succeed.

Conduct and Background

It’s always important to run assessments determining the quality of conduct, previous behavior, previous performance, validity of degrees and qualifications, and so on. This process is standard in most organizations and you likely already have it in place.

Personality and Behavior

Using employee screening to test personality and behavior is a relatively new process, but it can help you to determine if a candidate actually meets your needs. Here, it’s important to have extensive competency frameworks and job profiling in place, so you can pinpoint what is desirable for a role, team, or for future change. Personality and behavior assessment should follow employee screening and results should be linked to individual roles and teams, even if you’re hiring for several comparable roles. This screening can involve:

  • Competency testing
  • Soft-skill testing
  • EQ assessment
  • Personality testing

In most cases, you want to choose one or two of the most relevant assessments to hand to a candidate so that they don’t invest too much time in a role. However, you do want enough information that you can make a quality decision, so the more important the role, the more time the candidate should be willing to invest upfront.

Culture-Fit

Culture-fit tells you if a candidate is likely to fit into an organization and team based on their personality, actual behavior, and how they get along with team members. Some culture-fit can be determined from personality and competency testing. Once a candidate has passed this, they should actually meet your teams.

Here, it’s valuable to host open days at your offices, so prospective candidates can come in, meet each other, and meet teams with no pressure. From there, you can bring final candidates in for single or two-day work assignments in-office to see how things work out.

This will tell you exactly how well everyone will get along, what the individual looks like in a casual as well as a work environment, and how they react to their prospective team-members in person.

Employee screening is your only chance to determine whether a candidate will perform. Today, some 93% of employers in the United States require background checks but fewer check for job-fit, culture-fit, and competency-fit. Doing so will improve the quality of employee screening, will help you to better match individuals to specific roles and teams.


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How to keep up with recruitment in the digital age

In today’s fast-paced, socially connected, and digital world, companies are beginning to realize that technology is key for attracting, assessing, and employing the top talent. Why should you be left behind? These top HR recruitment tips show you how to keep up with recruitment, and your competition, in the digital age.

How has technology changed recruitment

Technology has a funny way of bursting onto the scene and completely changing the way you do things. Over the past ten years, methods of recruitment have evolved to include:

  • Online applications;
  • Advertising on job boards;
  • Searching LinkedIn profiles; and
  • Conducting pre-hire profiling.

And, as HR technology continues to evolve, so do candidate expectations – directly affecting the amount and quality of candidates who apply to your positions. So what can you do to keep ahead?

Keeping up with recruitment in the digital age

Future success in recruitment requires the adoption of a digital hiring model that embraces technology across attraction, selection, and experience.

Attraction

Gone are the days when a newspaper advertisement would result in hundreds of applicants queuing at your offices and gone are the days when a job board advertisement would result in hundreds of applications queuing in your inbox. To keep ahead of your competition, consider adopting:

  • Targeted recruitment ads – ensuring that only relevant applicants see your vacancy;
  • SEO optimized job vacancy pages – increasing your search ranking in Google; and
  • Dynamic branding – attracting the top talent to your company through an engaging and consistent online presence.

Selection

Resumes are dying out – make sure your recruitment campaigns don’t die with them. Your sifting and selecting process needs to change, to ensure that you can handle the increased volume of applications that your new attracting process is generating. A digital selection process incorporates:

  • LinkedIn resumes – it gives you everything you need to know, including the candidate’s professional contacts;
  • Online presence – do an online search for any industry-relevant blogs, social media posts, or following by the candidate; and
  • Predictive analytics – pre-screening profiling, personality testing, and automated selection tools remove hiring bias and accurately assess a candidate’s fit and ability to perform – enabling you to hire the right person to build a top team.

This will reduce the time it takes to find the perfect person for your vacancy.

Experience

The digital age has also changed everyone’s expectations about experiences – preferring speed, ease, and personalization over anything else. Respond to this by using technology to:

  • Streamline the application process with applicant tracking and updating systems;
  • Speed up selection by offering Skype interviews; cutting-edge selection tools, and self-booking interview portals; and
  • Don’t stop once the employee has started – technology should be embraced throughout the onboarding process and beyond.

By doing this, you’ll retain the interest of candidates throughout the recruitment process and come across as a dynamic and happening company that they can’t wait to work for.

Final thoughts

The key to keeping up with recruitment in the digital age is adaptability. In 2001, critics described the iPod as a gimmick – guess what they’re listening to their music on now. Find out about the latest HR technology by following HR blogs and Facebook pages, listening to industry-relevant podcasts, and attending local networking events and organizational development forums. And then, embrace that new technology with open arms because you never know how much you’ll rely on it tomorrow.

Happy recruiting in the digital age!


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When to Let Go of Poor Performers in the Workplace

Performance reviews have long been under-fire for practices of ranking individuals into top, middle, and bottom tiers. However, these tiers or other setups showing individuals who consistently perform under set standards can help your organization to improve and succeed. Traditionally, individuals who consistently underperform are simply let go, as they are either fired or do not receive contract renewal.

Modern HR practices typically require a much more human-friendly approach, where you should offer opportunities and tools to improve. Understanding these tools and approaches will help you to understand both how to improve performance and when to give up and let go of someone who simply is not responding to efforts.

Poor Response to Coaching

Coaching and mentoring can greatly improve performance for many. Here, leaders can simply step in to determine what’s gone wrong and why. This may result in the individual being moved to a more suitable team. It may result in their roles changing. It may result in them being pushed into personal development or training to improve specific factors.

Poor performance can result from myriad factors such as stress, poor home-life conditions, poor work-life balance, overwork, a bad manager, a poor fit with team, lack of crucial knowledge or skills, lack of motivation, and other factors. Coaching can help with any of these.

No matter what direction coaching takes, it’s important to monitor results. If someone fails immediately, it may be the fault of the coach. However, if the coach is good, there is a certain point when further investment is likely futile or no longer a good investment. Here, you should set a budget based on the cost of hiring and onboarding a replacement to the same or a higher level of performance and work within that.

No Interest in Development

Individuals who do not respond to or show interest in personal development cannot improve or change. This is important because most remediation efforts for poor performance eventually result in development. Individuals who lack skills for their current role have to be trained. Persons in a role that is changing outside of their ability to perform have to be trained. Individuals who can’t communicate well have to be trained as well.

If someone is not interested in learning and improving themselves, they cannot increase or improve performance. You can typically gauge this before development begins but should do so as it proceeds as well.

Lack of Personal Motivation

Personal motivation is the key to self-improvement and it is one (hard to measure) factor that will make or break the success of any initiative. Without motivation, an individual cannot respond to coaching, cannot push themselves through development, and will not be able to engage with or become passionate about work. You can take on several strategies to boost motivation through empowerment, stress reduction, training, and offering opportunities, but it is up to the individual to respond.

Like with coaching, motivation training should stop at a certain point when it becomes clear that the cost of doing so will exceed the cost of replacing the individual altogether.

Most people will train, develop themselves, and strive to do better when given the opportunity to do so in an understanding environment. People respond well to coaching, are able to make changes to their schedules and work methods and can learn new skills to improve performance. On the rare occasion that individuals do not respond to these methods or the cost of delivering them far outstrips the cost of hiring a new employee, you should let poor performers go.


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How to Preserve Institutional Knowledge and Prevent Brain Drain

Brain drain is a situation where organizations are faced with older staff leaving and retiring at a faster rate than new employees reach equivalent levels of skill and expertise. This can be a problem in organizations of all sizes.

While especially relevant to fast-scaling startups who often outpace their own ability to onboard effectively, brain drain impacts even massive companies with tens of thousands of employees.

Preventing knowledge loss often means creating preventive strategies, effectively onboarding people, and hiring to incorporate new expertise while retaining existing knowledge.

These tactics will help you preserve institutional knowledge across your organization, so that the workforce remains productive, valuable, and capable of delivering on strategy and vision.

Implement Succession Planning

Succession planning is one of the most valuable strategies to prevent brain drain, because it ensures you always know who will take the place of existing skilled or valuable persons. This often means developing a matrix to highlight your most value-added or key employees, using competency frameworks and job profiling to determine why they add value and how to replace them, and then generating succession planning based on predictions of their likelihood of leaving the role within x amount of time.

This strategy approaches brain drain from the idea that it will happen, you have to plan for it, and you have to have people ready with the right knowledge, skills, and behaviors, to prevent drops in performance when key people do leave.

Create Mentoring Programs

Lack of proper onboarding is very common in new and old companies alike. Here, new people are often hired on, very quickly introduced to their roles, and then left to be productive under a manager or Scrum leader with no real follow-up or intensive mentoring.

When more experienced individuals do leave roles, these new people are left with very little idea of how or why things are done the way they are, no idea of backlogs, and no real way to add value without changing processes, reverting items, or making a lot of mistakes.

Introducing mentoring programs as part of onboarding helps subvert this issue by ensuring existing employees always pass their knowledge, documentation, and organizational insight on to new people. While most people don’t want to make time in their role for mentoring, it is an important part of a role. The faster you’re hiring, the more time experienced people should be making for mentoring.

Focus on Employee Retention

While replacement strategies are important, employee turnover is still one of the most crucial contributors to skill loss. If you slow down how quickly employees leave, you slow down brain drain, giving your other strategies more time to take effect.

Here, you should focus on employee satisfaction, employee empowerment, fitting individuals to their roles and teams, and creating an environment people want to work in. While you’ll always have individuals who don’t fit, employee retention will make it easier to reduce losses in other places throughout the organization.

Brain drain will slow productivity, decrease profit, and force the organization to change direction or focus as individuals with crucial knowledge leave an organization. Adopt strategies to share knowledge throughout the organization to prevent losing key employees as quickly, and have a plan in place to replace key individuals when they’re ready to move on.


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The cost of recruitment – are you maximizing your ROI?

Recruitment is costly. Companies spend on average USD$4,000 on attracting and hiring a new employee – $4,000 that could be better spent elsewhere – especially if that new hire turns out to be a new disaster.

Join us, as we take a look at the hidden costs of recruitment, and how you can maximize your return on investment by securing the best talent for your business.

The trust costs of recruitment

No matter whether a long-serving employee has decided to retire or your business is growing fast and requires additional headcount – you know that searching for, attracting, and retaining the top talent is going to be costly. But do you know how costly?

Obvious costs

Recruiting for junior positions, senior roles, and everything in between generates certain predictable costs, including:

  • Print and online advertising;
  • Attending job fairs and networking;
  • Legal fees;
  • New equipment costs; and
  • The final salary.

Hidden costs

What many managers and recruiters fail to take into account, are the hidden costs involved in recruitment, including:

  • Time – anyone’s time spent away from the business sifting candidates, arranging interviews, attending interviews, and onboarding new employees.
  • Performance – any delay in recruiting the right person, will result in a dip in performance for their team, or the costly hourly rate of a temporary worker.
  • Engagement – losing a team member and taking on their workload while you recruit a replacement will impact upon the wider team’s employee engagement – resulting in reduced performance or other notices being handed in.
  • Reputation – while your competition is gossiping about why someone left your company, candidates are also talking about your recruitment process (warts and all).

So, how do you go about reducing these costs and maximizing your return?

Maximizing your recruitment ROI

Ultimately, you want to recruit the top talent in the quickest and cheapest method possible. This requires:

Maximizing your time

Is your time best spent advertising vacancies, sifting through applications, and arranging interviews – or is it better spent elsewhere in the business? If you can generate more profit and business impact than the cost of hiring an external recruitment agency, then it’s time to outsource.

Minimizing the time to hire

Taking a long time to hire no only elongates your recruitment spend, but it also risks losing potential candidates to your competitors. Reduce your time to hire by using automated hiring selection tools to speed up selection and remove bias, becoming DISC personality certified so you can carry out profiling yourself, and creating a recruitment competency framework to streamline your interview questioning.

Attracting the right candidates

Too much time and expense are wasted during the recruitment process on candidates that just don’t fit the position. Change this by attracting the right candidates through clear competency-based job descriptions, by using strong branding that demonstrates your company values, and by pre-screening candidates using background checks and Skype interviews.

Making the right choices

There is nothing more expensive than making a bad hire. Not only do you need to repeat the costs of recruitment and onboarding, but projects are placed on hold, team engagement is further dented, and your morale takes a beating. Make the right hire choice by using employee assessments and job matching data to avoid hiring mistakes and competency-based interview techniques to improve your interviews.

The true cost of recruitment – final thoughts

Recruitment can be costly, but done right, that cost can be returned through increased performance, profits, and engagement. Ensure that you make the right hire by investing in the right branding, assessments, and screening techniques to maximizing your ROI and begin performing at full capacity once again.


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How to Implement Strategic Talent Management

Managing a workforce over time, as organizational needs change, is one of the most difficult jobs handled by HR. Strategic talent management is the process of optimizing recruitment, hiring, and internal development in line with business goals and needs, so that the workforce is always ready to meet those goals.

Although many HR teams don’t implement talent management beyond the basics of acquiring, hiring, and retaining skilled individuals, strategic talent management can offer a great deal of value to organizations.

Identify Organizational Goals

Understanding organizational goals will allow you to understand and recognize the organization’s needs for those periods. Here, it’s especially important to look at expansions, changes in direction, new branches, and growth.

What are drivers and challenges facing these goals? Is the job market very competitive? Could new technology change how work is performed? Is new legislation set to change what your organization does?

Working closely with management will allow you to understand projected growth and direction, so that you can calculate factors such as expected growth, excepted turnover, expected number of jobs becoming irrelevant, and so on.

Identify Talent Gaps

Talent gaps are work-related gaps that prevent you from achieving specific organizational goals. For example, if your organization’s goal is to improve Net Promoter Score by 27% over 2 years, you could gauge gaps relating to customer service quality, how individuals are assigned to clients, and even the personality of individuals in customer service. Similarly, talent gaps can affect future gaps that don’t exist now. If your organization is intended to phase out a major software solution in favor of a new one, you have to take note so you can take action.

Define How HR will Solve These Problems

HR has to define how they will solve goals based on competency frameworks and job profile frameworks. If you know which competencies and skills affect jobs and how, you can train or hire to fill those gaps. For example, with the previous organizational goal of improving the Net Promoter Score, you could then formulate goals like:

  • Implement customer-service training to Customer Service teams
  • Administer follow-up training to persons scoring below 75% proficiency after training
  • Change hiring goals, with a focus on individuals skilled in relationship building

Talent gaps should be validated to ensure you’re actually solving the right problems. This means having a competency framework and job profile framework in place, so you can see which skills contribute where and how, and can hire or train for them to meet needs.

Finally, it’s important to recognize priorities. It doesn’t matter how many goals you set if you don’t have resources or budget to pull them off. Prioritize HR actions based on highest business impact, gain buy-in from management by sharing business results, and follow-up with secondary measures as more budget becomes available.

Measure and Validate Results

Strategic talent management is about validation and long-term results. This means that you have to implement talent management processes for assessment, performance review, ongoing development, competency, job profiling, and so on. These can then be used to improve results, validate that hiring and efforts are on the right track, and will give you something to take to management as proof of process.

Strategic talent management helps HR to ensure that the workforce meets the organization’s goals, now and in the future. While it does involve having a strong understanding of existing workforce, strong solutions in place to measure and monitor results, and a budget, it will help your organization to achieve goals because resources and talent are in place to do so.


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How Should Employee Assessments Impact Business Results?

Employee assessments and performance reviews are an often-resource-intensive endeavor requiring training, time from HR, and third-party tooling for assessment, testing, and monitoring programs. Whether you’re attempting to validate the efficacy of employee assessments, attempting to streamline them to meet goals, or attempting to gain buy-in for improvements from management, understanding how these assessments do and should impact business results will help.

Employee assessments exist to tell you the state of employees and their performance, which can be used to impact numerous business results.

Documentation for Workforce Protection

Employee assessments exist to inform you of employee performance and progress towards performance goals. Documenting this progress and follow-up practices allows you to protect your organization and the employees who are part of it. For example, having routine employee assessments in place allow you to target individuals who are poor performers. You can then take targeted steps to improve that performance:

  • Identify problems. What’s behind poor performance
  • Identify development opportunities. Where can individuals improve?
  • Identify candidates who are performing poorly because they are in the wrong roles
  • Discuss performance issues with individuals and work to find solutions
  • Highlight candidates who don’t improve after 3-9 months of development for possible termination

How will this work to improve business results? Actively responding to employee assessments enables you to lift performance for the organization, improving work turnaround, reducing turnover, improving motivation, and offering opportunities for individuals with problems or misalignment with roles and goals.

Streamlining a Workforce to Achieve Goals

Understanding what your workforce is capable of will allow you to make better decisions regarding work-force optimization, development, and hiring or onboarding to meet future goals. For example, if you know the organization wants to achieve something specific, employee assessment can give you a better starting point with which to begin steering the workforce to meet those goals. This applies even when future organizational goals include restructures or changing departments, because assessments help you understand what people can do and therefore where you can move them and why.

Streamlining your workforce to achieve goals also involves offering development to improve performance, moving individuals who aren’t suited to a particular role, removing individuals who simply aren’t performing or responding, and hiring to fill performance gaps.

Finally, this includes hiring individuals who meet assessment requirements or job profiles to fill specific roles well. If you know what the organization needs to achieve specific results, you can design a recruitment plan and hire for it, whether that includes leaders or those with leadership potential, high-performance individuals, or individuals showing promise in specific roles and categories.

Reducing Employee Turnover

Employee turnover relates to poor employee-role fit, poor reactions to performance, and no room for development. Using performance assessments to identify and improve role-fit, to offer those development opportunities, and to create room to improve performance rather than simply being handed a rating will work to improve employee satisfaction and company loyalty. Both of these factors will reduce turnover which will help the organization achieve goals, including saving money.

Employee assessment interacts with and impacts business goals and results, because the state of the workforce affects an organization’s ability to achieve anything. Approaching any type of improvement in processes around assessments and performance review, including pitching ideas to management, should involve approaching the problem from those business results.


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How to Follow Up on HR Assessments and Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are a crucial element of most company cultures. At the same time, HR assessments and performance reviews are in the middle of a massive overhaul. Most organizations recognize that old-school performance reviews are more harmful than helpful and many offer little value, only demotivation.

While some of this demotivation surrounds the natural process of being tested and the possibility of being found wanting, most of it relates to what is tested, how, and why. Most organizations don’t have processes in place to actually use performance reviews for positive improvement. At the same time, these processes both add to the value of performance reviews and reduce the negative reactions surrounding them, because employees at every level get something back from their participation.

So here are a few ways to bridge the gap, and follow up on HR assessment discoveries and performance reviews (both good and bad).

Recognize Performance

“Old-school” performance appraisals force HR to categorize a certain percentage of employees into top/middle/bottom categories, with some offering more room for nuance. At the same time, it’s important to step back, look at performance holistically, and recognize where individuals have succeeded and have improved. Doing so will allow you to acknowledge individuals and offer positive feedback.

Understand Failure and Its Reasons

Most people don’t underperform for no reason at all. If individuals are performing poorly, it’s crucial to step back, look at their team, their role, their personality, and, when possible, family and personal life. Here, poor performance often relates to factors such as:

  • Poor role/team fit
  • Poor culture fit
  • High levels of personal or work-related stress
  • Poor management / aggressive management
  • High or low levels of responsibility (boredom/overwork)
  • Poor skill fit (under/over-qualified for a role)
  • Personal disagreements/conflict inside the team or with management
  • Lack of personal motivation

Each of these factors can take an otherwise highly effective and high-performing individual and dramatically reduce their performance. This will result in flagging performance, flagging quality, and changes to the individual’s personality and disposition. If you can identify a reason behind poor performance, especially when it extends to a team or group of people, you can work to improve that performance by correcting the problem.

Improving Role Fit

Some individuals do not fit into certain types of teams, management styles may not fit their work styles, or there may be an excessive amount of interpersonal conflict inside a team. Here, issues may stem from problems such as the individual is over/under-qualified for their role, the individual doesn’t get along with others in the team, or so on. Solving this issue can be complex, but typically relates to moving someone into a better fit, working to improve management styles for that team, or otherwise changing facets of the role or team to improve.

While your actions here can impact just the individual or the team as a whole, those decisions must depend on the performance and behavior of the rest of the team.

Offer Development

Many people struggle to adapt to change, new leadership styles, new tooling, new role responsibilities, and so on. Others are over-qualified for their role but don’t have the necessary skills or behaviors to move up. Recognizing this gives you the opportunity to offer development, so that anyone who is struggling in their role can learn the necessary skills to excel or to move on.

While these types of development initiatives can be costly and require that you conduct behavioral assessments and understand job profiles and individual teams, they will pay off in terms of improved performance, improved motivation, and a happier workforce.

Poor performance in the workplace is rarely as simple as employees who don’t care about their jobs, but it can be. If that is the case, your reaction to a poor performance review should be to increase motivation. In some cases, individuals will show no improvement and should eventually be let go or cut from a team, but the cases where they cannot improve and likely excel in a role where they struggled before is rare. Acting on these motivations and taking steps to improve role and culture fit for an individual will improve performance.


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How and Why to Assess Core Values in Candidates

Value-based assessments have always been popular in organizations, but today, they’re more popular than ever. With even large-scale organizations like Southwest Airlines and Aegon adopting core-value based hiring, many businesses are wondering why and how they can do the same.

Core values represent a candidate’s core beliefs relating to moral questions and answers. Most organizations benefit from learning about these values before making a hire but it’s important not to rely too heavily on value-based assessments.

What are Core Values?

Core values make up a set of personal beliefs which are the guiding principles behind an organization or person’s behavior and actions. These values define who and what a person or organization is at its deepest level by defining what they care about, will act on, and are motivated by.

Core values include but are not limited to:

  • Religious, or lack of, beliefs
  • Dependability
  • Humor
  • Passion
  • Fitness
  • Creativity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Helping others

A core value is only a core value if it is a motivating factor of their personality, something that they act on and make decisions based on.

Why Assess Core Values in Candidates?

Assessing core values in candidates can tell you what they value, which, in turn, will tell you what they will do and why. Core values also allow you to find candidates whose core values align with or match those of your organization to ensure that they are a good fit, are more likely to stay in your organization, and can contribute in ways that align with the organization’s goals.

Ben & Jerry’s shares their core values on their website. Here, the organization lists three primary values, which are broken down into more complex values:

  • Make fantastic ice cream (product excellence)
  • Manage our company for sustainable financial growth (dependability, reliability, success, profit)
  • Use our company in innovate ways to make the world a better place (Empathy, helping others, environmental good)

Ben & Jerry’s could use these core values they hold to determine that someone who doesn’t care about their product probably isn’t a good fit for the company. Instead, they’d be looking for someone with core values like “creativity, reliability, dedication, empathy, and willingness to help others.”

These core values would help Ben & Jerry’s find candidates who would not only show up to do their job, but who would be excited about the product, the company mission, continuing excellence, and helping others through the organization.

How do You Assess Core Values in Candidates?

Assessing core values in a candidate can be a tricky process, largely because you have to learn a lot about your candidate in a relatively tiny window. Most organizations take the approach of using structured interviews to learn about individual behaviors and motivations. You may also ask specific questions about core values, although many candidates will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than how they actually feel, so most assessment centers will take an indirect approach.

One common way to determine core values is using assessments and questions. Here, you can ask questions such as:

  • What is a major driving factor in your life?
  • If you could change one thing about your previous job, what would it be?
  • What have you learned in the last 6 months and why?
  • What are you looking for in a role and why?
  • What is one of your most momentous life decisions?
  • How would you handle X scenario?

It’s also important to work core values into job descriptions, into assignments, and into how you evaluate candidates and their behavior.

Behavioral questions are designed to figure out how an individual would act or how they think they would act in a situation with moral weight and consequences. This will show you what they value and why. You can see examples of what organizations like Zappos use when hiring if you’re looking for more examples.

Core values can help you to determine if a candidate is a good fit for your organization based on what they believe in and what drives them. However, it shouldn’t be your final decision-making point. You also need a good understanding of what your organization’s core values are before you can use values as a hiring point.


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