Values Based Recruitment is a recruitment strategy that engages and recruits candidates who share common values, aspirations, and attitudes with the organisation.

Values Based Recruitment is not a new concept in talent acquisition however, with the increased importance of strategic alignment between organisation objectives and HR programs, Values Based Recruitment is frequently relied upon as part of a robust recruitment strategy. Traditionally interviews have focused on skills and knowledge required for a position, with some behavioural questions included for the candidate to reflect on scenarios they have encountered in their careers.


Values based recruitment does not overlook the place of technical aptitude but will focus more intently on the concept of mutual fit. Mutual fit seeks to examine what is important to the candidate, what is important to the business and whether the two parties align.

Interviews are two-way conversations, discussing values, mission and goals with a potential employee gives them important information about what it is like to work for the business. Allowing the candidate make judgement on mutual fit and understand the role wholistically, it will also provide insight into the values of the teams and individuals the candidate will interact with in the role. 


This strategy acknowledges the technical skills as well as the behaviours expected of potential employees that align to the companies’ goals, values and mission.

Steps to include when developing values-based recruitment practice;

  1. Map out (if you haven’t already) the companies values and a strategy for communicating them in a way that makes sense to the current and future employees. How do these values operate in day-to-day actions? What constitutes success and high performance in the business? Do your values have relevant and tangible guiding behaviours?
  2. Incorporate the values and mission into the job description and job advertisements, sharing some information about the culture is also effective in this step.
  3. Develop interview guides that include questions aligning to the identified values
  4. Develop a reference checking guide that incorporates the values outlined
  5. Consider pre-employment screening services to give further insight into the candidate


Values practices could also be imbedded strategically into all areas of the business for efficacy including onboarding, performance, team meetings and operations.

Finding candidates on the same page, who share the same goals will ultimately connect the employee and the wider team to the purpose of the organisation. When utilised correctly the results for an organisation are incredibly positive, with studies showing that employee retention is increased and teams work more cohesively. Businesses can focus with laser precision on the goals they want to achieve knowing that their teams are engaged and committed.


Engaging candidates through a values-based recruitment model can:

  • Attract candidates whose values and behaviours align to those of their fellow employees and the business
  • Add to a positive culture of a business
  • Improve productivity
  • Increase staff engagement
  • Lower turnover

To get to the core of Values Based Recruitment the business needs to define what long term success looks like and identify the values that represent those goals, then develop questions in line with the targeted value they are looking to explore in the interview.


Areas of focus could include:

Value Example Question
Collaboration/ Team work
  • When were you part of a great team? What were the circumstances? How did you contribute?
  • Tell me about a time when you improved a process by creating a cross-functional team. What was the issue and how did it turn out?
  • Describe a situation when your work did not meet your co-worker or supervisor’s expectations. What happened? What action did you take?


  • Tell me about a time when your active listening skills really paid off. Perhaps a situation when others missed a key idea or issue.


Goal Oriented/ Motivated
  • Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond your role and expectations. Why did you do this? What exactly did you do?
  • What career goals have you set for yourself?


Turnover due to poor alignment to culture or values is costly to a business in time, money, and productivity. Applying strategic practices to your recruitment program can certainly improve results, however hiring managers should refrain from making assumptions about values based on a candidate’s application alone. Review applications for technical skills, experience and qualifications required to be technically successful in the role and then have conversations with the employee to gain insight into their values, ambitions and personal attributes that would make them a good cultural fit for the organisation.

When companies share insight into their values and culture the applicant pool may surprisingly decrease, with that being said the quality of candidates will be a much closer mutual fit wholistically. This should be seen as a positive outcome as candidates were attracted by the qualities that you are seeking in your team members, setting the potential candidate up for success from their first interaction with the business.



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The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.