A recruiter's job is to find clients either proven high performance professionals or high potential candidates for their roles - and in the modern world of business, it means more than just finding someone who has the necessary skills to do the job.

Why? The importance of hiring someone for your business who actually enjoys working there can be shown in the following cycle: happiness at work > high level of productivity > business growth and high performance > increased happiness at work, and so on.

If you consistently hire people for your business who do not enjoy the environment, don’t get on with their team or don’t understand your long-term goals, it will be virtually impossible to achieve any positive results. Even one cog in the machine can make all the difference.

So how do you find out which candidates’ values align with yours and your company’s?

Well, first of all, ask them. When you’re interviewing someone you tend to get a rough idea of what they’re about, but an hour often isn’t long enough to get into this detail without outright asking. If they tell you they’re not sure, that’s ok, but it’s also ok to ask them to have a think about it and come back to you with their answer another day. 

In a sales role, you might expect a candidate to say that money is top of their list - and this can be a good thing where you need your team to hit their targets. However, if you’re recruiting for an executive assistant, you might prefer a candidate’s top value to be teamwork or helping others, which will be a big part of their role.

You can also ask your candidates some behavioural type interview questions, which will show you how they react to certain situations. This doesn’t necessarily uncover candidate values, more so how they might approach their team or a particular task when certain situations arise. See question six in ‘The key interview questions to uncover the best candidate’.

Do you know your own values? Your company’s?

You might work for a company that has no clear or designated values, but what’s your EVP? How do you sell yourself to great candidates? If you have no flexible working arrangements but you’re interviewing a new parent who needs to think about day care pick ups - they’re not going to find you a particularly attractive employer. 

How do you choose between capabilities and values?

Decide on any deal-breakers before you waste time going through rounds of interviews with anyone - if your candidate’s top value is a passion for being green at work but you currently have no environmental policy then you’re probably not right for each other (or there is a fantastic opportunity to implement a new environmental policy). 

Go back to the job spec – what are the absolutely necessary skills someone must have? Now weigh up whether they are skills that can be taught on the job fairly quickly if you’ve factored in a bit of onboarding time. You might find that by narrowing down your requirements, you’re opening the door to a lot of brilliant candidates who can add some additional value to the role with their other skills. 

What if you make a mistake?

It’s important to monitor new starters during their probation period - for your sake and theirs. If they aren’t enjoying your office environment find out what the issues are and whether it comes down to making changes that would, in fact, benefit everyone. Remember that if they are seriously unhappy they could still be looking for other jobs, so don’t get caught out by thinking they are locked in.

Eliminate the risk of making the wrong hire by giving your recruiter a realistic and in-depth description of your company culture and team environment so that we can find the perfect fit for you

Join over 4,000 readers!
Get a free weekly update via email here and help kick start your career.