“If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”
Alexander Hamilton, Eighteenth century statesman
This timeless adage is truer for businesses now than it’s ever been. Because, people are keener than ever before to examine what businesses do to make a meaningful contribution to the world; what they do to leave an enduring positive legacy. Authenticity matters.
With more eyes on the way you conduct business, it’s prudent to take a hard unblinkered look inwards at where your business is and where it’s going. Not your projected sales figures and targets, but your code of conduct, your ethics, your ideals… your visions and values.
Whatever your employee value propositions are they should be at the beating heart of your business. There’s no point in having them just to look good. If your business doesn’t live and breathe them, you risk being perceived as disingenuous.
Visions and values in recruitment can only be fulfilled when your entire workforce from top to bottom buys into them and lives by them on a daily basis. Otherwise, they might as well not exist.
The importance of buy-in highlights exactly why visions and values in recruitment matter more than ever. Why you should give serious thought to capturing the imagination of your workforce of tomorrow before they’ve even applied for a job vacancy.
In this article, we’re going to run through –
- What visions and values are, and how they form the foundations on which your business operates and thrives.
- How to align your visions and values with your recruitment process. And how you can harness a premier Applicant Tracking System to incorporate your visions and values across key touchpoints of the candidate journey.
- How visions and values in recruitment ultimately benefit your people, your business as a whole, and even your clients.
What are visions and values?
Your visions and values are nothing to do with how fantastic your products or services might be. They’re about why you do what you do and what you stand for.
Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker, summed up the essence of visions and values in his now famous 2009 TED talk.
“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it, and what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.”
Your vision is your purpose, your why, as Simon Sinek puts it. An idealistic dream of what your business could look like in a perfect world.
Take the vision statement of multi-national flat pack furniture giant Ikea as an example -
“’To create a better everyday life for the many people’, this is the IKEA vision. Our business idea is ‘to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them’. Our vision also goes beyond home furnishing. We want to create a better everyday for all people impacted by our business.”
Your values are the things you hold true intrinsically. Like a stick of rock, your values should be emblazoned through your core from top to bottom. Your values serve to underpin and drive your vision.
Ikea defines its values as –
- Caring for people and planet
- Renew and improve
- Different with a mean
- Give and take responsibility
- Lead by example
Ikea’s visions and values are clearly displayed and discussed at greater length on their careers page. They give applicants something to think about that goes much deeper than the prospect of working for a global furniture retailer.
The aim of integrating your visions and values into your recruitment process is to inspire potential candidates, in turn attracting candidates who share similar values.
How an exemplary Applicant Tracking System helps incorporate your visions and values into the recruitment process
With your visions and values informing everything you say, do, and communicate, including them in your recruitment process isn’t just a great idea. It’s a must.
In an article for TNLT, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen, authors of The Purpose Revolution: How Leaders Create Engagement and Competitive Advantage in an Age of Social Good, demonstrate how vision and values in recruitment have become business critical –
“Eighty-five percent of US employees said they will stay longer with an employer with a high level of social responsibility and a UK report shows that 42% of Britain’s workforce want to work for a company that is making a positive difference in society. For millennials, 60% said they choose a sense of purpose as part of the reason they work for a company and Gallup reports that a full 50% of millennials say they’d rather take a pay cut then work for a company with unethical business practices.”
Your visions and values should be felt throughout the candidate journey, your actions and communications reinforcing your credibility and equitability. Your candidate communications are a great way to shout your employer voice.
Your careers page is the perfect launchpad to introduce candidates to your visions and values. It’s a potent platform for selling your business to potential candidates, and also for keeping your existing talent pool on side, too.
The addition of an Applicant Tracking System into the mix helps weave your visions and values across the recruitment process. The resources it puts at your fingertips empowers you to identify candidates who are potentially the best professional and cultural fits for your business -
- Careers page linked to an Applicant Tracking System – Linking your careers page to your Applicant Tracking System automatically screens candidates. The result is an evolving talent pool pre-populated with candidates whose credentials match what you’re looking for.
- Keyword/phrase screening – In addition to screening the professional credentials of candidates, an Applicant Tracking System can also identify those most likely to share your visions and values. You simply need to specify relevant keywords and phrases against justifiable criteria.
- Killer questions – With multiple automated shortlisting tests around it's important your Applicant Tracking System is capable of delivering them seamlessly. Personal values drive professional values. So killer questions can help you probe the values candidates hold dear. When killer question tests are fully integrated with an Applicant Tracking System, AI can accurately determine the candidates who best align with your visions and values. It's an added bonus that a selection of killer question ideas is available, at no extra cost, with the best Applicant Tracking Systems on the market.
- Advanced testing – Advanced tests such situational judgement tests (known as SJT’s) and psychometric tests are highly effective means of recruiting candidates who are attuned to your visions and values. Like killer questions, advanced testing is readily available within an Applicant Tracking System. It comes as standard to reject or move candidates forward automatically, depending on their test results against your pre-determined pass rate.
How visions and values in recruitment benefit your entire business
There’s no hidden agenda behind the incorporation of visions and values in recruitment. No “what’s in it for us”. Yet it entails some very positive payback for your business -
- Saving money – Extolling your visions and values on your careers page will attract the best talent on the market to you. In addition to new blood, it helps keep your existing talent pool highly engaged. Therefore, there’s a greater likelihood of finding your ideal candidates closer to home, reducing the amount of money you spend elsewhere on agency spend and any other ad costs.
- Reducing attrition – Happy, empowered staff who’ve bought in to your dreams are much less likely to seek alternative employment elsewhere.
- Eliminating negativity – Teams that feels appreciated and gratified emit positive vibes internally and externally.
- Lessening sick leave – Staff who are heard, respected and valued are less likely to suffer with physical or mental workplace wellbeing issues that cause them to take time off sick.
- Optimising performance – Team members who are actively encouraged to live by your visions and values are likely to feel more like key stakeholders than small cogs in a big wheel. As a result, they will be more invested in your business and perform to optimum levels, reducing ghostings.
The end result of drawing your visions and values into your recruitment process isn’t just a pretty picture of management and staff across all levels living happily ever after. It matters to your clients, too.
The five internal benefits above, individually and combined, ultimately mean your clients will enjoy the best possible service your business can offer them.
Vacancy Filler’s vision is to be the first thought in people’s minds when they want to attract, recruit and onboard the best talent for their business. Our business is driven by our exceptional service and support, and our company culture is to value everyone whom we employ, work with and work for, without question.