In the world of recruiting and hiring, we are always looking for the “magic bullet.” The perfect set of questions, time-saving software, AI screening, skill test or personality test that can revolutionize the way we do business. If only we could find that ONE THING to help us guarantee the perfect hire. Every. Single. Time.
If only it were that easy.
The Problem with Values-Based Recruiting
The problem is that hiring (or at least hiring well) is part art and part science. It’s a human to human process that involves sharing information and building bridges. Testing our hypotheses about a person and collecting as many data points as possible to make an informed decision.
“Values-based recruiting” is a newer trend in recruiting that focuses on hiring employees based on culture fit, i.e. “values” first, while focusing less on skills or experience. The idea is this: when people are a great culture fit, it’s easy to train up candidates who lack certain skills. When skills and experience trump values, the quality of the team culture suffers. After all, if everyone on the team hates them, it doesn’t matter how good someone’s skills are. It’s never going to work out.
I applaud the focus on values in the hiring process. Shared values do matter. Over a decade in the industry has taught me that talented employees crave companies that share their values. They want to feel connected to their workgroup and the mission of the company. They want to do work that has value and they want to feel valuable.
Keller Williams Career Visioning
But skills and experience matter, too. In fact, they matter a great deal. Keller Williams Realty is known for their training programs and for “Kellerizing” processes to fit their model. One of the classes they teach is called Career Visioning. This two-day class teaches agents and managers how to hire the right people for their organizations. Their process is heavily influenced by the values-based approach to hiring. So much so, in fact, that skill testing or even verifying skills isn’t taught at all. The result? Employees who are deeply connected to their employer’s vision and mission but who may or may not have the necessary skills to succeed in the role. The result? Their fail rate isn’t much better than the industry average.
Values-Based recruiting enthusiasts and Keller Williams are both trying to find the “magic bullet,” but they aren’t zooming out enough to see the full picture.
It’s Time to Think Bigger
I spent years studying, dissecting, and learning from every placement I made that didn’t work out. Lack of culture fit (or a value misalignment) was one reason, but it wasn’t the major reason placements failed. Behavioral issues or outside factors aside, placements fail for one or a combination of the following four reasons:
Job Fit – the employee didn’t have the skills or experience to meet their employers standards. Their behavioral style wasn’t a match for the role or the company, or the logistics, such as the commute or hours didn’t work.
Culture Fit – the employee’s values and ethics weren’t a match.
Goal Fit – the employee’s personal, professional and/or financial goals weren’t supported by the employer or company.
Talent – the employee didn’t demonstrate the intrinsic motivation and level of intelligence necessary to fulfill the role.
It would be so much easier if we could just count on one skill test or single set of interview questions to help us predict who will succeed, but it just isn’t that simple. Hiring is a process of collecting multiple data points over a series of meetings, and it can’t be done without building a foundation of trust and mutual respect.