As a human resources manager, you know how difficult it is to attract and retain the right people your business needs to thrive. But finding the best talent and keeping them on board is only half the battle. You also need to make sure your employees stay engaged so they continue to do the great work you hired them to do.
Unfortunately, promoting engagement is difficult for many companies. According to the most recent State of the Global Workforce Report by Gallup, only 21% of employees worldwide are engaged. This means that more than three out of four employees can be terminated, which makes retention a moot point.
Luckily, there’s one thing you can do to help keep your staff engaged and committed to your business for the long term: hire people who identify with your company’s values from the start.
- 54% employees say they would take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values.
- 82% employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just an employee.
Find out why it’s so important to attract candidates whose values match your company and five steps you can take to incorporate those values into your recruiting process.
The power of hiring for a responsive culture
When you screen and identify candidates based on values, you get people motivated by more than just a paycheck. You find people who are invested in your company’s vision and are likely to stay engaged for the long term. Simply put, onboarding a team with shared values helps you build a workforce with the right people, right from the start.
Take it from Google, one of the most innovative companies in the world. The company talks about the value of values-based hiring on its website’s Careers page:
“If we hire you based on your skills, we will have a qualified employee. If we hire you based on your skills, enduring passions, and distinct experiences and perspectives, we’ll get a Googler. That’s what we want.
Let’s explore five steps you can take to emulate forward-thinking companies like Google and keep your talent engaged far into the future.
Step 1: Define your values
Adopting a values-based approach to hiring starts with a seemingly obvious first step: defining those values.
By understanding what interests your business, you can get an idea of who you want to attract and what should be important to them.
Start with the easy steps, like referring to your company manual for your mission statement and defined values.
Then take a deeper look: does your company actually practice its stated values? Alignment is key. If you advertise values that you ultimately don’t live up to, you’ll be negating why you incorporated values into your hiring process in the first place. You also risk shattering the trust of your new hires by not meeting the expectations you set for yourself from the start.
Next, discuss values with your hiring managers before sourcing candidates. While your company’s values should apply consistently to all internal teams, some managers may want to accentuate or modify certain values to meet the specific needs of their team.
“Our job is not to present candidates to managers”, Blueboard People Relations and Talent Acquisition Manager Shireen El-Maissi said. “Our job is to present managers with qualified candidates who will be suitable for the company.” To do this, start by agreeing with hiring managers on values and other expectations.
Step 2: Communicate your employer identity
You communicated internally on the values. Now is the time to make sure your candidates are aware.
“Most companies simply post a job description listing duties and responsibilities,” Naylor continues. “When they include information about the culture, mission and values of the organization, the number of candidates increases significantly.”
It’s not just a question of quantity, however. Being clear about your values upfront helps you attract candidates who share your company’s vision. As a result, you increase your ability to attract qualified job seekers and save time by weeding out candidates whose values don’t match yours.
Listing company values in your job description is a good way to immediately set the tone. It’s even better to include examples of how your company applies these values, such as how your teams work together, how you interact with customers, what causes your company supports, etc. You should also explain specifically how you expect candidates to embody company values in their roles.
Step 3: Ask the right interview questions for a cultural fit
Job descriptions are a great starting point for letting candidates know you’re serious about values. But they are just that: a first step. Continue the process by asking questions about values during the interview.
Questions about values can be direct or general, so it is helpful to ask several. Here are some examples to get you started.
- What values would your ideal employer have? Your candidate’s response will give you a good indication of how important values are to them and whether your priorities align.
- What specifically interested you in this job? If your candidate mentions the company values included in the job description, it not only indicates that they have read your ad carefully, but that they also care about what matters to your company.
- How would you handle a situation in which (insert example here)? Make sure candidates don’t just repeat the information you listed in your job description. Make sure they really understand your values by putting them in a hypothetical scenario and asking them how they would react. For example, if your company values include both speed and quality, ask your candidate how they could perform at a high level while under pressure to do a job. Their response will give you insight into how they might apply the values in their daily roles.
Step 4: Check references—and beyond
Once you’ve told your potential employees about your values, you’re ready for the next step: hearing from other professionals who know them best.
As an HR person, you are a good judge of character. But we all have blind spots, so talking about references (or asking your hiring manager to do so) is an essential step.
“Well done is better than well said, and there is no substitute for good SEO,” said the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Amy Guttman said.
When it comes to getting the inside scoop on a candidate’s values, or any aspect of their personality or skills, it pays to dig deeper. This means not only contacting references provided by a candidate, but also contacting other people they have worked with. LinkedIn, for example, is a good place to find mutual peers who can talk about a candidate’s qualities. Look for people who have worked with your candidate to see if they practice the values you are looking for.
Step 5: Provide a holistic employee experience
Just as ensuring alignment with a candidate’s values is critical, your company’s actions should reflect those values, especially when it comes to the employee experience. Offering the right total compensation policy is an ideal way to achieve this.
Let’s say, for example, that your company upholds values such as empowerment and trust. Offering flexible hours or working remotely shows you trust them to do their job and allows them to take charge of their schedule.
Total rewards offer: Equity Rewards
When you give equity to your talent, you’re basically giving them a stake in your business. As a result, you inspire them to take control of their work and truly care about the outcome of their work.
Value: work-life balance
Total rewards offer: Flexible workspaces
Give your employees access to flexible workspaces around the world so they can work on their terms, when and where they need to, and better balance their work with their lives.
Total rewards offer: Additional services
The needs of two employees are not the same. Help your loved ones maximize their health and well-being by providing complementary medical benefits tailored to their specific needs and region-specific expectations.
Retaining the Right Employees in Difficult Times: How Velocity Global Helps You
Adopting a values-based approach to hiring helps you hire the right people right away so they stick around and stay productive for a long time.
To increase your ability to find candidates with the same or similar values, it’s time to think beyond the boundaries. Hiring globally helps you turn your talent pool into an ocean so you can hire the best people for the job, not just the closest ones.
Velocity Global is here to help.
Since 2014, we’ve helped over 1,000 companies hire the world’s top talent in over 185 countries. We help with every step of building teams worldwide, from onboarding and payroll to compliance, with no entity creation required.
We can also help you deliver locally tailored additional benefit packages, equity bonuses, flexible workspaces and other total rewards that reinforce your values and increase your appeal to the right candidates.
Ready to improve your recruitment strategy? We are ready to help you. Find out how in reach out today.