How shoe size can help hire for Values Fit

Hiring Managers Values Based Recruitment
How shoe size can help hire for Values Fit

I’m guilty of buying my clothes a size smaller on occasion, my thoughts being “It doesn’t fit yet”. I can be confident in this as I’m a big proponent of psychologist Carole Dweck's "Power of Yet", a growth mindset view and a belief that you can improve. This improvement is achieved through dedication and hard work. There are many times believing in the power of yet will stand to us:

  • Entering a race for a distance not run yet
  • Hiring a candidate who hasn't all of the required skills yet

We are most happy when we achieve according to our values

These examples show skills, traits and strengths that we can improve. We'll be most successful at changing what we are intrinsically motivated to achieve as this allows for us to practice self-concordance (an alignment between our goals and our values). We are at our most happy, well, productive and efficient when we are being self-concordant. It’s when we try to misalign our wants and needs and when we're not achieving in accordance with our values that we fail to flourish. These areas we can successfully change to create a values alignment show that the one constant, the area we can’t change, is our values. As Jim Collins author of Good to Great says Core values are not something we “buy in” to, we are predisposed to holding them.

The financial cost of not hiring for cultural fit is considerable

As recruiters, when we consider a candidate for a role we most often look to ensure they have the essential skills fully matched, and then as many of the desirables as possible. However, the recruitment process has evolved beyond focusing on experience and education. A values alignment should be our first assessment when considering a new candidate. We can only hire a candidate with the right cultural fit if we know that our values and theirs are aligned. The financial costs of not hiring for cultural fit is considerable with a conservative estimate being one third of the employee’s salary. More concerning is the psychological cost with 95% of managers believing a poor hiring decision impacts the morale of the team.




Hiring a candidate with the wrong values is like buying the wrong size shoes – you won’t grow into them

Hiring a candidate who doesn’t have all the skills yet is just like buying the dress a size too small – invest some dedication and hard work and it will pay off. But hiring a candidate whose values don’t align yet, where there is no cultural fit, is like buying the wrong size shoes – no amount of dedication and hard work will result in them fitting. That’s why it is crucial when hiring to ensure we only consider candidates whose values align with our existing cultural values.

Values are like shoe size – there is no power of yet when it comes to changing them.

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