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Values-Based Recruiting: When Do Corporate Values Tip the Scales in the Race for the Best IT Talent?

There is no magic formula for finding the right employees, especially in the IT sector, where companies with more than 137,000 vacant positions are often in a neck-and-neck race. Soft factors such as corporate culture can ultimately make a difference. Values-based recruiting offers companies a good opportunity to clearly communicate working methods and values during the application process to ensure that they match the expectations and demands of candidates – and thus win over IT experts in the long term.

What is values-based recruiting?

Values-based recruiting is not a new approach in itself, but it has become increasingly important recently. Studies show that corporate culture is one of the most common reasons why candidates turn down a job offer. To prevent this, value-based recruiting is about determining whether candidates not only meet the requirements of the position in terms of their skills but also whether their values and goals fit the company. Some processes can be exclusively values-based, while others involve a mix of values and competencies.

First steps toward values-based recruiting

First, companies should become aware of their own values and goals. Only when the corporate culture is clearly defined can it be communicated to current and potential employees. Once the values and goals have been defined, they must not only be integrated into day-to-day business but also into the recruiting process. Companies should include important values in job advertisements and describe the qualities that potential employees should bring with them. They would also do well to communicate the corporate culture as early as the application process. At the same time, expectations, working methods, and guiding principles must be clearly stated and addressed. In assessments, companies can test the cognitive or situational skills of candidates or have them fill out personality questionnaires. The questions during the interview can also be adapted based on the company values. For example, recruiters could ask candidates how they would react in certain situations or what they think is particularly important in a team. Even role plays can become part of the recruiting process.

What are the advantages of values-based recruiting?

Incorporating principles and values into the hiring process gives both sides the opportunity to better assess the fit between the company and the candidate. This is especially beneficial in the long run. If high pay is tempting at first, it does not sustain employee engagement and motivation for long. And this is precisely where the problem lies: studies show that only around 17% of employees in Germany are committed. Values-based recruiting can remedy this situation:

  • Visible corporate values strengthen employer branding: Companies should not only incorporate their values into the hiring process but also proactively communicate them to the outside world to position themselves as employers. For example, they can show on the website or on social media how important the corporate culture is to them and how individual values are lived out. This will give candidates a better idea of their potential working environment in advance. In the war for the best IT talent, this is a decisive competitive advantage.
  • More precise matching saves time and money: Time is money – it currently takes an average of seven months to fill a vacancy in the IT sector. These vacancies cost not only company resources but also their innovation capacity. Values-based recruiting can make matchmaking more precise from the start or help with the final decision when it comes to choosing between two candidates with equivalent skills.
  • Shared values create a motivated team: If employees share the company’s ideals and work culture, they will also pursue the same goals among themselves. This, in turn, makes it more likely that they will build closer relationships with colleagues and feel comfortable in the work environment. In addition, shared goals improve morale and reduce absenteeism because everyone cares about overcoming challenges together.
  • A positive environment leads to positive results: If employees are aware of the company culture, and more importantly if it matches their own perceptions, they will automatically be more engaged as they feel more connected to the company and want to achieve meaningful results. If employees are committed to increasing their own productivity, this also benefits the entire company and ensures satisfied customers, for example.
  • Stronger employee loyalty leads to lower turnover: According to a Gallup study, 73% of German employees expect to be working somewhere else in a year’s time. Value-based recruiting can remedy this situation and ensure that IT talent remains with the company. After all, if companies give their employees the feeling that they are valued, they tend to stay longer. Lower turnover also allows companies to invest in the professional development of talent – a win-win situation for both sides.

Final Thoughts

Values and goals can be strategically integrated into all areas of the business to improve effectiveness and strengthen employee retention. Companies would do well to make IT talent feel like they are working on meaningful projects, involve them in strategic decisions, and give them a sense of purpose. Values-based recruiting offers companies the opportunity to assess the cultural fit of candidates in advance in order to improve matchmaking, promote productivity and employee cohesion, and retain IT experts in the long term.

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