I’ve been thinking a lot about values lately—partly because of current events, and partly because I’ve been helping clients create job descriptions.

In the job descriptions I prepare, I always include a list of company values complete with definitions. Studies show employees who share common values with their employer are happier and stay longer. If you do it right, values-based hiring can counteract the insidious tendency to hire people we’re comfortable with—those whose personalities and backgrounds are similar to our own.

Hiring someone who thinks differently, and from a different perspective, is very helpful for keeping your organization innovative and guarding against “group-think.” Ensuring a values-fit can help the employee feel at home in your company despite differences in life experience and perspective.

Values-based hiring is also a great way to help potential candidates understand what working for your company would be like—beyond the dry description of responsibilities.

Like any other tool, values-based hiring can be misused to discourage good candidates from applying. It’s important to research how it’s done, and to design a complete recruiting process that supports a diverse pool of candidates and as unbiased a process as possible. Plenty of articles describe options for such an approach. The important thing is to invest some time and thought into the process.

When thinking about your organization’s values, be honest with yourself. Clarifying your values isn’t meant to make your company sound cool. Instead, it’s intended to provide realistic perspective on what it’s like to work for your company. This includes both the company’s priorities and how decisions are made.

If your company gives only lip service to its stated values, this will become obvious to job candidates or new hires fairly quickly. Do yourself, your staff, and job candidates a favor and list values you really believe in. Then, make a conscious effort to use them in day-to-day decision-making. If you place real values into practice well before you start recruiting, your organization will be more cohesive and transparent. Job candidates will be able to tell that you and your staff live these values at work.

If listing and defining your organization’s values and incorporating them into your daily work seems like a challenge, contact Dunathan Consulting. We can help you capture these unspoken values and put them to good use.

Dunathan Consulting helps fast-growing companies get their people, processes and systems running like clockwork so the owner can focus on growing the business. Schedule a call now at https://dunathanconsulting.com/schedule/.