64 Incorporating Values in Recruitment Processes

Brad C. Anderson

Values guide wise action. Stakeholders create organizations to pursue a certain combination of values. For example, a government may establish a publicly funded hospital to pursue the value of public interest through administering healthcare. Shareholders may establish an oil exploration company to pursue the value of productivity, as expressed through maximizing profits. A manager may assemble a team tasked with pursuing the value innovation to solve a problem. Values drive activities at all levels of the organization.[1]

Chapter IX discussed the importance of to drive action. It is their values that motivate champions. When these personal values align with organizational values, champions can become a powerful force of effective action. It, thus, makes sense to incorporate values into an organization’s recruitment efforts.[2]

The following paragraphs present an example of how organizations might do this. When you think of recruiting in an organization, you may have in mind the hiring practices of a large corporation. Remember, though, an organization may be large or small and may contain sub-organizations. A for-profit multi-national company is an organization, as is a neighbourhood soccer club. Regardless of the size or scope of the organization, recruiting members is required.

Recruiting for values first requires that the organization possess a strong sense of what its values are. The organization’s leaders play a crucial role in establishing and communicating these values. Developing organizational wisdom requires the organization to create a culture of values that balance the organization’s success with customers, employees, and other stakeholders’ needs.[3]

When recruiting personnel, organizations frequently rank applicants’ skills from best to worst and then select the top candidate. Often, though, the difference in ability between the first and second-ranked applicant is marginal and may have no meaningful impact on performance.

So, rather than ranking applicants top to bottom, you might create performance categories (say, for example, high, medium, low). Individuals’ skills within each group are similar enough that you could select anyone from it and expect the same level of performance.

Now, since you have categories in which individuals have similar skills, you look within the group of the highest skilled individuals. You may then apply another criterion, such as the alignment between individual and organizational values, to choose which person in that category you wish to recruit.

In this way, you create an organization populated with highly skilled individuals who share its values. This process creates a pool of champions that will drive the organization’s mission forward.[4][5]

 

This process is known as “banding.” For those wishing to adopt banding in their workplace, click here to review an article describing the process and the legal implications you should bear in mind when utilizing it.

Key Takeaways

  • When personal values align with organizational values, champions can become a powerful force of effective action.
  • Incorporate screening for values in recruitment processes (through, for example, banding applicants into categories based on skill level and then choosing from the top-skilled category for complementary values)

  1. Anderson, B. C. (2019). Values, Rationality, and Power: Developing Organizational Wisdom--A Case Study of a Canadian Healthcare Authority. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  2. Anderson, B. C. (2019). Values, Rationality, and Power: Developing Organizational Wisdom--A Case Study of a Canadian Healthcare Authority. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  3. Kotter, J. P., & Heskett, J. L. (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York: The Free Press.
  4. Aguinis, H. (Ed.). (2004). Test-score Banding in Human Resource Selection: Legal, Technical, and Societal Issues. New York: Praeger Publishers.
  5. DeNisi, A. S., & Belsito, C. A. (2007). Strategic Aesthetics--Wisdom and Human Resources Management. In E. H. Kessler & J. R. Bailey (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom (pp. 261–273). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

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Incorporating Values in Recruitment Processes by Brad C. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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