The Candidates We Love
I have a friend who has been a part of my life for decades now. She is incredibly smart, innovative, bold, entertaining, supportive, and often extends kindness to some of the most mean-spirited people in her circle of influence. We get along great, but there are several jobs for which I would never hire her, primarily because she likes (even prefers and needs) to color outside the lines.
We like who we like and often want to hire these individuals. However, neither our preferences nor our biases should be the standard for hiring a candidate. Our sincere feelings about a person shouldn’t be the rule of thumb either although many times one's gut instinct is accurate. So, what is our best course of action for choosing a candidate who will be successful not only in the job but also within the ranks of the company itself?
Candidate Values Versus Organizational Values
Yes, employers today must look for the best of humanity, the brightest individuals with the strongest work ethic and highest degree of integrity, while also embracing gender equality and racial diversity. However, in selecting the right person for a job, there remains something else of paramount importance: organizational values. Hiring managers need to be acutely aware of the values which are priorities for the company, its owner(s) and its managers, and they need to know how to screen candidates for these values.
Organizational values may be written down as policy, touted as part of the company’s branding, or merely perceived. Yet these values are directly connected to the organization’s daily action plan and its perspective regarding many issues. Company values are all about defining the culture of the workplace and the core beliefs underpinning its standard systems of operation.
Categories of Company Values
Interestingly, organizational values can take on myriad beliefs, practices, and virtues such as those listed below:
Category 1: Values Related to Virtues & Ideals
Strong Work Ethic - Fairness - Courage Honesty - Integrity - Respect - Dignity Unselfishness - Listening - Caring - Serving Doing the Right Thing - Diligence - Trust Generosity - Excellence - Believing in People - Humility - Goodwill
Category 2: Values Requiring Relationship
Partnerships - Open Communication - Healthy Competition - Dedication to Others - Teamwork - Authenticity - Connections - Collaboration - Diversity - Customer / Client / Coworker Relationships - Community
Category 3: Values Regarding Personal Effort
Accountability - Self-Discipline - Self-Improvement - Engagement - Responsibility - Empathy - Follow Through - Restoration - Flexibility - Balance - Giving - Learning - Empowerment - Passion - Optimism - Leadership - Creating Opportunity - Discovery of Truth - Bold Approach
Category 4: Goals & Values Reflecting Achievement
Innovation - Results - The Bottom Line - Excellence - Continuous Improvement - Optimization - Impact - Product Quality & Reliability - Safety & Compliance - Job Satisfaction - Impact - Exceeding Expectations - Creating Lasting Value - Being the Change - Growing with Purpose - Dreaming Big
I love making lists, and this one fascinates me. Did you find yourself immediately labeling your own goals, virtues and values as well as the company’s as you read through the various descriptors? If so, that’s because we know ourselves and the companies we work for rather well. In our minds we know and understand core values, whether the organizational values have been voiced aloud and promoted or not.
However, companies are made up of employees with diverse backgrounds and opinions, and not everyone is looking out for the company’s best interests. Hopefully, as a hiring manager, you are an exception to that unfortunate reality.
Hiring for the SPECIFIC Values Which Enhance YOUR Company Culture
If you want to build a stronger company culture, one that respects organizational values, start making wiser hiring decisions. Using assessments, we recommend that you evaluate your top job candidates' personal values to determine which individual would be the best fit with the organization's own values. Then, based on the results and all other important screening factors, try to hire those candidates who will fit naturally with the core values and principles of the company. Many times, certain managers may want to hire their own people, their own way, but as a matter of policy, insist that all future candidates be assessed and their values weighed carefully before moving forward with a job offer.
Consider these words from the FastCompany.com article, "How To Find A Job That Aligns With Your Values". It is from the candidate's perspective but insightful nonetheless.
" . . . one of the keys to feeling engaged at work is aligning your own idiosyncratic values with those of your organization, your team, and your direct manager – when you’re all working together towards something you believe in. That makes for a virtuous circle: When people pick jobs that fulfill basic psychological needs, motives, and values, they immerse themselves more in their work, experience higher levels of job satisfaction, and their productivity rises."
Suggested Method for Evaluation of Candidates’ Values
At Brannon Professionals, we utilize the TTI Success Insights® assessments, one of which is the Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values assessment. It is effective in measuring the WHY behind an individual’s actions. The assessment will rank an individual’s interests, attitudes and values into 6 categories of motivation:
Theoretically-motivated – refers to those who thrive on gaining knowledge and information
Utilitarian-motivated – these individuals strive to maximize both their time and resources
Aesthetically-motivated – people focused on seeking balance, harmony and personal development
Socially-motivated – people who love to help others and their causes
Individualistic – motivated by a desire to obtain authority and power
Traditional – individuals with this mindset are seeking a system for living
The Value & Insight Assessments Provide
We do business with a client who prefers to hire primarily those individuals whose traditional values rank first, second or third. Why? In part, it is because they have learned from experience that employees with traditional values tend to work well in an environment where tried and true approaches are commonly practiced and highly valued. This is directly related to a person respecting and valuing an established system versus someone who is flexible and inconsistent in their approach to decision making.
Another client works in the tourism industry. When they hire administrative and customer-service staff, the preferred candidates will typically be socially-motivated. Because these jobs / trips can be so exhausting, those who are naturally inclined to help meet the needs of others and find their satisfaction in doing so are the best types of people to hire - as long as they also meet the other qualifications which the job itself requires.
If you would like our assistance in gaining access to these assessments and subsequent reports, please visit our website or contact us directly at 662-349-9194 or 901-759-9622.