Only 15% of adults in full-time employment claim to be engaged at work, according to Gallup’s ‘State of the Global Workplace’ report.
The survey covers millions of people from more than 150 countries and implies that there is an incredible amount of wasted potential preventing companies from creating the high performing cultures they need to succeed.
Of course, corporate culture has always been important but, as today’s workplace continues to change and evolve, it is becoming increasingly critical for businesses that are looking to make productivity gains.
A company’s culture defines the environment in which employees work and the way they make decisions. It’s the personality of a business and is made up of the most commonly shared values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours in a team.
Personal values are much harder to train than technical skills, and this is why many recruiters now give precedence to those who align with a company’s vision and values, management style and team ethics; providing they have the aptitude to be successful.
It’s also why many of the most successful companies in the world include values-based interviews as part of their recruitment process.
While the competency to do the job is clearly still important, being able to understand a person’s motivation is the only way you can truly hope to ascertain whether or not they will fit well within a team and go on to thrive.
In order to use values-based techniques to find your next star employee, during the interview process it’s vital that you provide an opportunity for candidates to showcase their character. If done well, this will help you to understand whether their priorities match your goals and what it is that drives their behaviour.
As a recruiter, your mission is to find the perfect person and in an interview the best candidates will be well prepared and ready to make a good impression. With their guard up, it’s your job to get under their skin and find out what they’re really like.
The key is to build a strong rapport from the start. If people trust you, they’ll relax and that will make it easier for the conversation to flow into topics they haven’t previously rehearsed.
This not only helps you to get a feel for their communication skills but also uncovers potentially unseen aspects of their personality and behaviour, which is crucial to making sure they are the right fit for your business.
Try opening with a request for their personal and professional goals; and how they see the role fitting in with these.
Ask them to tell you about a situation that has brought out the best in them; giving examples of why they feel that makes them ideal for your company.
Find out who the smartest person they know is (and why). By getting people to explain this you’ll not only find out about their networks, but also the values and personality traits they aspire towards.
Of course, these are just a few examples. You will need to develop a series of your own questions that match your company’s ‘non-negotiable’ values, but whatever you end up with, don’t forget that interviews are a chance to find out more for both parties.
While your aim is to work out what makes someone tick, they will most likely be doing the same to you, so make sure you also give a good impression of your business and the way it operates.
And if you’re preparing for a values-based interview, you should plan to be questioned about your personal beliefs. Make sure you do your research by, at the very least, reading the organisation’s mission statement and reviewing the core values on their website and, when the questions start to probe deeper, be prepared to talk openly about your experiences and feelings. That way both parties should find what they are looking for.
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