Unconscious vs Conscious - Jackie Le Fevre

Picture the scene.

Potential client: “We want to do values-based recruitment”

Me: “You already do”

Potential client: “No we don’t. We just use regular ways of writing adverts, shortlisting, interviewing and selecting the best person”.

Me: “True. At every stage the things you write and say, how you say them and sequence the different bits, what you choose as your shortlist criteria, the structure of the interview questions, what you give candidates marks for and what you don’t give them marks for is all driven by an underlying set of values: whether you intend it or not those values do come through. You are doing values based recruitment – you just don’t know it.”

Potential client: “???????”

Values are an expression of what matters most to a person, a group, an organisation. Values shape our sense of the world, how things work and what is ‘like’ or ‘not like’ us.

In recruitment two sets of values are at work. The priority values of the recruiting organisation (or a combination of the values of the organisation with the vacancy and the values of the

recruitment consultancy being used) and the values of the potential candidate.

Great hires take place when the true core values of the employer and the highest priority values of the individual align and resonate with one another. This is not about looking for a ‘match’. There is no such thing as the ‘right’ set of values. This is not about taking a values shaped cookie cutter to the labour market and finding people who fit that shape.

Consciously values based recruitment is about finding the words, processes and activities which both embody the uniqueness of the employing organisation, and put flesh on the bones of a candidates sense of what the job might be like in real life.

Why should we care how close we get in terms of values alignment?

Well this is what the research says:

• reduced employee turnover and increased employee satisfaction and performance (Edwards & Cable 2009; Hoffman & Woehr 2006)

• increased trust and cooperation between team members (Tsui & O’Reilly 1989)

• perceived similarity in values also increases the likelihood of innovative outcomes as members are likely to feel more comfortable proposing novel ideas (Dose & Klimoski, 1999).

So you already do values based recruitment. The question is would you like to do it consciously?

Jackie Le Fevre

Magma Effect


You will be able to hear more from Jackie at People Power on 12 June in Newcastle, where she will be discussing Value Based Recruitment and how to recruit in line with your corporate values!

Book your place now!