Make Your Core Values Known!

By: Lyndsey Nelson


We all know that hiring the wrong person can add up to lost time, productivity, and money to get a new employee on board and trained in their new role. This person may have had the right skills for the role, but in the end, they just weren’t the right “fit” for the organization. Finding the right fit starts even before posting the position, it starts with defining and articulating your organization’s core values throughout the hiring process.

By articulating your core values throughout the process (i.e. talking about your core values on your website career page, in the job posting, talking about them with candidates), you let potential candidates know what kind of employer you are, the kind of culture you have and what the people that work in your organization are like. This paints the full picture and tells potential candidates what to expect when they walk through the door. They will want to be a part of that action!

Values are something that are truly ingrained in people and if an individual’s core values don’t line up with the organizations, you will rarely be able to change these ingrained beliefs to fit yours. So when people have values that are similar to the organization that they work in, they will naturally align themselves to what the company believes. They will live and breathe these values every day, because at their core that’s what they believe and identify with as a person. It comes naturally to them to act and think a similar way. Because of this, they will be so much happier and connected to the organization and their work.

If you haven’t defined and articulated your core values, you run the risk of settling for a candidate because you don’t know what the right fit looks like. And when the fit is not there, things can become very painful and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint why. The employee is competent and has all the skills to do the job and they are a great person… it’s no fault of their own… it’s just not working! It is the employer’s responsibility to hire for fit because that sets the person up for success. If you don’t hire for fit, you are ultimately setting that person up to fail.

How do you know fit when you see it? Here are a few signs:

  • New employees integrate quickly into the workplace
  • All employees feel open and comfortable to share their amazing ideas
  • Everyone steps-up for new tasks and projects, and goes above and beyond in their work
  • Employees refer other great people like themselves to come work for you
  • Ultimately, when there’s fit, there’s engagement

It’s also important to remember that candidates select organizations too – they look at reputations, culture and opportunities for career growth. If you talk about what your core values are up front, and let them know what it’s like to work for you, you will attract the right people. If you don’t talk about it, you really haven’t called out the right people.

This is just one way to assess the right fit for an organization – by determining if the core values are aligned to the organizations. The only real way to know this is if your organization’s core values have been integrated and articulated throughout the hiring process.

Your Engaged Assignment: Take a look at your hiring process and find ways to integrate your organization’s core values into the process. A good start would be to look at your website and ensure you have your core values incorporated somewhere, either on your Careers Page or your About Us page. When candidates are job searching, they will look at these pages first to get more information on your company. Is there anywhere else you can articulate your core values?