Why values-based hiring helps you build an all-star team

With many organizations now operating under fully-remote and hybrid schedules, trust in your employees is more important than ever. Mission (and client) success depends not only on your team’s skill and competency but also on their mindset. 

Do employees believe in your mission? Do they think their work matters? Do they share your core values? Values-based hiring is one recruitment strategy that can help you build a reliable, all-star team.

What is values-based hiring?

Values-based hiring is a recruitment method in which employers seek out candidates whose personal ideals align with the company’s core values. While this strategy is most common in the healthcare and education sectors, values-based hiring is becoming increasingly adopted across all fields.

Shifting From Hiring for Cultural Fit

Like all things in life to an extent, the hiring process can become a performance for some potential candidates. In a traditional interview, questions are geared toward company culture and skillsets. 

  • “Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?”
  • “Are you able to work with little to no supervision?”
  • “Are you comfortable working long hours or weekends?”
  • “What skills make you qualified for this position?”
  • “Do you have experience using this program?”

While the answers here are undoubtedly important to a candidate’s success in the role, they are also ones that only speak to an individual’s ability to “get the job done.” They can be easily answered if applicants are skilled at the interviewing stage and may only provide a snippet into how they will fit into the team.

And while getting the job done is important, crossing the finish line can be arduous for all involved when team members don’t believe in the work or share ideals. The quality of services may also suffer, and when your mission is as important as helping lift others….well, there’s no place for that in the nonprofit world! 

Hiring based on cultural fit also often narrows down your applicant pool to like-minded team members, eliminating diversity in your organization and creating a homogeneous workforce where innovation often fails to thrive. 

Not every qualified candidate may be a fit for your team, and that’s perfectly fine. At the end of the day, an individual’s ideals are the driving force behind their work and relationships, and it’s those ideals that will bleed through into their role. 

When you interview based on ideals, you can create questions that are the same across the board for all applicants. This, in turn, allows you to more easily compare those whose skills pass the test to identify those who best fit your team. In short, a values-based hiring strategy helps employers build a team of the “right” people for your organization’s success.

Why and How to Hire Based On Values

The workplace advantages of placing values first extend beyond getting everyone on the same page. The strategy also proves critical in helping your team flourish. Benefits of values-based hiring can include: 

Boosted staff morale and reduced turnover. Hiring based on values helps ensure each member who joins your team truly believes in the mission. Employees and organizations that share the same goals create an environment where work feels valued. Employees are more likely to remain with the team, creating a more skilled and veteran workforce that spells success for all involved.

Improved engagement and productivity. In a 2022 Gallup report, surveys reported that only 21% of employees felt engaged at work, with only 33% feeling themselves thriving due to not finding their work meaningful. It makes sense then that, by hiring to select candidates interested in your mission, that values-based hiring would create a healthy and positive work environment where staff is more likely to remain engaged and productive in their roles. 

Increased thought diversity and inspired innovation. We mentioned earlier that hiring based on cultural fit could hinder innovation. Six paragraphs later, this still rings true. By building your workplace on ideals, you are actively breeding thought diversity that can help challenge your organization (in a good way!) and increase your likelihood of evolution.

When creating your values-based hiring process, consider incorporating these tips:

  1. Establish and form a clear understanding of your organization’s values.
  2. Infuse your values into your job postings.
  3. Conduct pre-employment evaluations. (i.e., personality tests, cognitive/behavioral tests, skills tests, etc.)
  4. Interview with open-ended, values-based questions or roleplaying.

We’re here to help your mission rise to new heights!

Changing the world doesn’t happen alone. By combining strategy, ingenuity and experience with your team’s compassion efforts, Cloud Nine is committed to helping your nonprofit succeed. Because when nonprofits thrive, communities rise. Contact us today to learn more!