LH Recruitment and Scancapture have worked together for years and when we met with Director Steve Smith early this year, he had an idea that he wanted to recruit his next employee based on values.
Values are a set of guiding principles which influence our judgement, behaviour and the decisions we make. An important distinction we learned is that the values people align themselves to, are often very different from the values they practise. Simply put: anyone can talk the talk, but a person’s true values are expressed through their actions and behaviours (and sometimes their habits).
We sat down with Steve Smith to discuss an Executive Assistant position he wished to recruit for, this person was to support him and Scancapture as well as The North West Employee Engagement group he founded in 2014.
How did you come to the decision to recruit on values?
Steve Smith says “Engage For Success can prove that one of the four enablers of engagement is that of organisational integrity. What is written up on the wall is really what happens on a day to day basis. When this doesn’t happen it creates what I call, a say-do gap (which means that what we say and what we do is so far apart, people won’t trust you)
We decided that – as an engagement company – we should walk the walk and discover, then embed our true values within our business and only recruit to those values. No matter how skilled, confident or ‘right’ the candidate seems to be, if they don’t believe 100% in these values they don’t get the job.”
How did we do it?
Once LHR had advertised the Executive Assistant position and pre-screened applicants the next stage was for Stacey to interview candidates face to face.
With Scancapture’s values in mind (Trust, Honesty, Excellence, Support and Engagement) and without telling the candidates who the company was or more importantly their values, she interviewed and asked for examples to really understand the candidates and their values as well as goals and priorities.
After interviewing over 12 people, candidates were shortlisted and sent to Steve. One of LH Recruitment’s additional services offered to clients is Onsite Interviewing. There are several benefits to having someone outside the organisation interview and for Steve, the main reason being that Laura’s experience and knowledge of recruitment would guide him through this process. Laura did not see the CV’s or the people Stacey shortlisted until interviewing face to face alongside Steve at first interview.
Steve explains, “The biggest benefit in having LHR’s involvement was the support Laura provided to the interview process. As Laura understood our values it was easier for us to identify and select those people who were ‘Scancapture’ people quickly.”
After first interviews, LHR carried out a DiSC profile on candidates chosen for a second interview. A DiSC Profile utilises a method for understanding behaviour, temperament and personality. At LHR, we offer DiSC to our clients as we feel this technique really helps managers understand staff.
DiSC results completed and a second interview the next week, it became clear that Sam was the “one of us” says Steve. “She was able to ‘bring me back’ to the values time and time again.” Sam continues to be an asset to Scancapture and NWEEG six months later!
How important are values within a business?
Core values are what support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what the company values. Many companies focus mostly on the technical competencies but often forget the underlying competencies that make their companies run smoothly- these are core values.
Establishing strong core values provides both internal and external advantages to the company:
- Core values help in the decision-making processes.
- Core values educate clients and potential customers about your business and clarify the identity of the company. Especially in this competitive world, having a set of specific core values that speak to the public is definitely a competitive advantage.
Steve Smith explains, “Core values have become my primary recruiting and retention tool. Candidates should do their homework on the company they are applying to and weigh up whether or not the company holds the values that the candidate considers most important. So I’d say as a recruiter you are trying to find the best fit for the candidate AND employer, then matching them up together. It’s not about bums on seats!”
Echoed by what Steve has said, our advice when recruiting and more importantly considering the values in your business is to work on the values with all your people (not just the CEO or MD), get everyone’s input and buy-in. Embed the values by talking about them constantly and challenging each other on these, then most importantly recruit to these values and stay true to them.
The objective of business is to do business with people who believe what you believe. (Simon Sinek, wise man)