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Values based Recruitment and Organization Culture

A Strategy to Attract and Retain Employees

Values based recruitment (VBR) is an approach which attracts and recruits’ students, trainees and employees on the basis that their individual values and behaviors align with the values of a company. It should take place as part of existing recruitment processes which assess aptitude and skills.

Companies are now extending their reach using values-based recruitment to try and hire people who want something more than just a paycheck every month; they want candidates who believe in their purpose and have a similar overlap in values with the organization.

Candidate Attributes

Mike Myatt, Chairman of N2Growth argues that a values-based approach to hiring increases performance, enhances collaboration, reduces turnover, improves morale, and creates a stable culture. However, he points out that only 2 out of 100 responses from hiring managers, executives, and HR personnel in a survey listed “character” and “integrity” as the top attributes of candidates that would influence a hiring decision.

Applying VBR to hiring decisions is not easy. It means to find someone who fits into the organization's culture A VBR strategy is one of the ways to incorporate organizational fit into the hiring process. Ideally, the individual has high ethics that align with the organization’s high ethics. If a perspective employee has high ethics while the organization has low ethics, ethical dissonance exists.

Defining Core Values

Values are the guiding principles that impact a person’s judgments and decision-making ability. There is a distinction between the values individuals ascribe to themselves from the principles they practice. In other words, no matter how professional, dedicated, or determined a person considers themselves to be, true personal or work values are demonstrated through their actions.

All organizations have intrinsic values that are exhibited in their strategies and operations, but these values are often not explicit, which may be a problem for the new candidates in adapting to an unfamiliar environment.

The advantages of VBR are not confined to just bringing every employee on board to the same page. The approach or strategy of value-based recruitment offers many other benefits to the organizations including:

  • Healthy Work Environment
  • Improved Productivity
  • Enhanced Employee Morale
  • Decreased Employee Turnover
  • Employee Engagement and Sustainability

Having a VBR program is more than just communicating with the employees that you practice certain values. It is important to use effective strategies when it comes to highlighting these values in the hiring process. By highlighting the values and principles, the organization can connect itself with the right candidates.

The Benefits of Values-Based Hiring

According to David Naylor, executive vice president for global learning and development with the training and development consultancy 2logical, based in Rochester, N.Y. there are certain values that are positively correlated with workplace success.

  • Has the candidate shown a propensity to take ownership?
  • Does the candidate believe in their own adaptability?
  • Can the candidate navigate adversity?
  • Does the candidate believe they can set and achieve goals?
  • Does the candidate believe they can overcome fears?

Identifying traits in candidates that are tied to long-term organizational success gets to the very root of strategic hiring. Naylor says,

“Employers who incorporate culture into the hiring process can expect more responses and better retention up to a year after the date of hire. Values and cultural fit have an impact on talent acquisition and talent management that lasts far beyond the hiring process.”

Values-based Recruitment and ESG

New employees are attuned to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues now more than ever. ESG is an outgrowth of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. VBR policies should address how organizations incorporate them into their values and strategies for success.

It is estimated that, by 2029, millennials and Gen Z – who place greater importance on ESG issues – will make up 72 percent of the world’s workforce. That is a massive increase from 2019, when these generations comprised 52 percent of the workforce.

VBR strategies should focus on ESG issues, particularly millennials and Gen Z. Considering their increasing annual growth in the global workforce, it is important to understand what these workers are looking for, what they value, and how that affects their employment decisions.

Today, employees want to work for companies that embrace diversity and value team contributions. Key factors can include the racial and gender balance within a workplace, particularly in terms of leadership. Furthermore, companies that look for inclusion gaps can address these concerns on a dynamic basis, benefiting not just talent recruitment, but also employee satisfaction. VBR

Employee Views

Potential employees are increasingly likely to apply for and accept jobs from companies they view as environmentally sustainable, according to a survey from IBM.

The findings were released as part of IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) study, which included a survey examining consumer and employee opinions on sustainability. The survey included responses from over 16,000 people from 10 countries, covering topics ranging from employment to consumption and investing.

The survey found a growing interest in employees wanting to apply and accept jobs from environmentally sustainable companies, with 67% of the respondents reporting that they are more willing to apply for, and 68% more willing to accept positions from such companies. 35% of those who changed jobs last year accepted a job with an employer they consider to be sustainable, while 34% accepted a role where they can directly influence sustainable outcomes.

Of the respondents who changed jobs in the past year, around one in three said that they accepted a lower salary to work for sustainable or socially responsible organizations.

While the survey findings indicate that sustainability can help create a talent advantage for companies, it can also create risk, with only 21% of respondents saying that they consider their current employers to be sustainable.

Key Takeaways

VBR aims to align recruitment decisions with core values and principles, the purpose of which is to promote a culture of ethical behavior. To make values-based decisions, it is essential first to identify the core values and principles most important to the organization. This can be done through conversations with stakeholders, reviewing the team’s mission statement, and considering the underlying values that have guided past decisions. Instilling them into the culture of the organization is a key to success as it can lead to a good match between candidate and organization.

Once the core values and principles have been identified, organizations should build a recruitment program that incorporates core ethical values and promotes a culture of ethical behavior to avoid cognitive dissonance. VBR recruitment strategies should incorporate elements of ESG.

Concisely, value-based recruitment is an excellent approach to finding potential candidates who can match the values of an organization. However, it is a long and comprehensive process and includes specific steps and phases to implement and get successful outcomes.

The invention of innovative technologies that analyze the traits and values of employees and candidates has led to more effective recruiting decisions. AI-enabled talent analytics technologies, such as Retorio, offer deep insights into the behaviors, traits, and values of candidates at an early stage of the recruitment process. Recruiters can analyze the values of their existing team and look for matching talents. 

To create an effective value-based recruitment plan, organizations need to find out the values that underlie the recruitment process. These values must drive the behaviors and actions of the organization. Thus, the given recruitment plan can help to implement the values-based recruitment plan efficiently.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, PhD on June 29, 2023. Find out more about his professional activities on his website (  Follow him on Facebook at: and on Twitter at: