A Value-able Hire

good hiring decision

How to Hire People who Understand the Values of your Organization?

HR: Why would you like to join our organization?

Candidate: Sir, I believe and trust the values of your organization. I am confident that your organization will provide me the platform to develop and enhance my skills. I truly believe that my personal attributes and are in line with your organizational goals and together we can achieve the desired results and success for the organization.

A typical sugar coated answer to the aforesaid question. We would have liked to hear the same answer while interviewing a prospect for our organization. However, how many of us really dig in deeper to analyze what values or beliefs the candidate is actually talking about.

  • Does he understand our value system?
  • Are his personal values or thoughts in line our organizational goals or missions?

valuable employee

In an interview the candidate tells us what we would like to hear. As hiring managers we tend to look for details pertaining to his education, past experiences, current job profile etc. We interview on how his skills has helped him in tackling and managing a particular situation, however we fail to check on his perception or thoughts and whether they coincide our organizational values, ultimately resulting in a gap between his value understanding and our value proposition.

Have you undergone a similar situation in your career?

I have an interesting story to share with you.

A close friend of mine, who was working as an HR Manager with an automobile ancillary, was hunting for a person to look after their Liaisoning department at a Vice President level. This gentleman will be working in close coordination with the local government agencies and building relationships with them. They short-listed a person who had an incredible track record and contacts in the industry. He was master in the liaisoning activity and was known amongst most of the government officials. In his current organization, he was involved in major government tie ups thereby enabling smoother and faster project executions. His experience & work profile suited best to their organizational requirement and hence they didn’t interviewed or grilled him on how much ethical he was in his dealings with the government bodies. My friend’s organization believed in ethical functioning and dealings in all respects. As the position was urgent, the hiring team overlooked on the candidate’s moral and ethical upbringing.

The guy who was hired, proved his worth within months by completing all liaisoning work on time with the government authorities. The organization was pleased with his performance however; there was an element of doubt or suspicion in the management’s mind on account of his speedy dealings and transactions. Later the company came to know that he used to shower monetary benefits on the officials for faster execution. The organization has carried a legacy that they can accept delays in project work but will not tolerate or compromise any unethical activity which will speed up the execution process.

The values of this new individual and organization certainly were not aligned. The organization always got their work done ethically without fulfilling undue needs of any government officials. The new hire had tarnished their image in the industry which took years to build and sustain. This new person carried on with his own perceptions and disapproved the way the organization worked. Ultimately he left the company within 6 months of working.

Who do you think can be held responsible for giving birth to such a story?

It would have saved us time and effort had the recruitment been more stringent by checking whether an individual fit their bill in terms of organizational core beliefs.

How will you justify the losses in terms of time, recruitment cost & replacement cost incurred in the entire process?

Hire People who Shares and Believe in your Organizational Values.

It is quite difficult to grow and manage an organization where employees are not aligned to its mission or vision. Not finding people who are passionate as you are may result in conflicting interests. Employee turnover as a result of such a gap will not have a favorable impact on the current work force. There is a possibility that the employees may start doubting your processes and eventually things slip out of hand.

To safeguard your falling in a similar situation, hire people who have the same values that the organization follows in spite of their brilliant or exceptional technical competencies and relevant industry experience. In return you will find people working in accordance to the vision and mission of the organization thereby minimizing risk of an unexpected employee turnover.

Strict and Tighter Interview Process

At the time of interview, shift your focus on asking questions which will be challenging his self beliefs & value system. Apart from what he brings on the table, drill and investigate with questions on the values he carries in his personal life and which are close by your own organizational beliefs. Check on how he handles his daily transactions with people around him so that he flushes out his true persona and you get to know that he was faking. Put your organization’s value statement in front of him and check his perception on it.

I might make a similar mistake, like my friend, if I also ignore the values a new hire is bringing along with him in the organization.

I would like to have your inputs on how you investigate the values of a person while recruiting him for your organization. Further, I would like your learnings on how do you manage people who are mistakenly hired and are not aligned towards your organizational values?

Amit Bhagria
This Aint Your Daddy’s HR Do I have your attention? Good, because we are in the mist of an HR revolution. It’s either join up, or be left in the dust. What do I mean by this? Well, gone are the days of Human Resources representing the company’s interests solely. The new age HR Manager is an inclusive individual, serving the collective needs of both employer and employee. In the new “collaborative” workplace, an HR Manager wears many more hats than in years past. It can be debated as to whether this is a result of a disgruntled workforce staging a collective mutiny, or the evolution of HR professionals. Either way, the time has come. Join me on the other side. Subscribe to my Newsletter to get updates from the world of Human Resource Management.
Amit Bhagria
Amit Bhagria
Amit Bhagria


  1. says

    I think it’s important to try to hire people with integrity but I’m on the fence about shared values. I think there’s also value in different values. It’s a fine line between company culture and diversity – too much of the one tends to jeopardize the other.

  2. says

    I am always conscious of candidates simply presenting ‘the right answer’. Someone who really wants the job will have done their research and will be able to give more specific examples about your company’s values.

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