It’s a concept that’s come into sharper focus within the past few years: the importance of organizational values. Once only mentioned in passing during new hire orientation (and never spoken of again), organizational values are now front and center, acting as guiding principles that employees now expect as part of the company milieu. Just because it is expected, however, doesn’t mean that employees relate their actions back to those same values (and in many cases employees might not even remember what they are!)
While HR leaders shout their values from the proverbial mountaintops, a question always remains: how do we reinforce our values and how do we cement them into our organizational culture?
One opportunity often overlooked is at the very beginning of the employee life cycle. By incorporating values into the recruiting process, organizations can simultaneously assess role fit and cultural fit while ensuring that potential employees are aware of and engaged with values before they’re even offered the job.
A way to incorporate organizational values into the interview process is to ask value-based questions. For example, a core HighGround value is to “Decide with Data.” To prompt candidates to discuss this value, you could ask a question such as, “Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision and were missing the correct information and/or data you needed. How did you handle that situation?” At HighGround we’ve created value-based interview guides that challenge hiring teams to be more thoughtful throughout the interview process. These guides also ask interviewers to provide objective, unbiased, role-relevant feedback that ties back to our organizational values.
By incorporating values into candidate assessment in this way, organizations are:
- Reinforcing ideals internally. When interviewers are given value-based questions to ask, they are forced to think about their own attachment to them and may reflect on how they would answer the same questions they’re asking.
- Making solid cultural assessments and priming candidates. Organizations are filtering out potential cultural mismatches while communicating to candidates the importance of the organizational values.
- Understanding how actionable values truly are. Hiring teams are forced to reflect on the values and question whether they’re actionable, too “high level” or not accessible. They may sound great on paper, but employees need to be able to perform the values each and every day.
Through inserting values into the recruiting process, organizations have one more tool in the quest to create highly engaged employee cultures. When used in combination with other employee engagement tools like HighGround, corporate values can emerge from new hire orientation and be reinforced from the very beginning through candidate assessment, and later, employee recognition and continuous feedback.
Are you asking questions during the interview process that assess if a candidate fits in with your organizational values? What other questions are you asking? Share your feedback in the comments below.