There’s been a quite a bit of reaction to LinkedIn’s findings that 52% of jobseekers would turn down a role at a company if they didn’t share its core values. It’s becoming clear that if your company doesn’t take core values seriously, it’s putting itself at a serious disadvantage.
Every employer has them; however, employers don’t seem to be making it easy for potential recruits to work out what those core values are. More than a third don’t include them on the company website. Two-thirds don’t mention the organisation’s values during interviews. Just 27 percent include them in job advertisements. And perhaps most staggering of all – 1 in 10 HR professionals are unable to articulate their own core values.
The more you scratch the surface, the more evidence you’ll find telling us how important corporate values are. LinkedIn’s series of 2016 talent trends reports explore how both passive and active jobseekers expect to be recruited. One of the findings that surfaces time and time again is the impact of culture and values. They’re sending out the message loud and clear: values matter and if your company doesn’t have defined values, you’re in trouble.
Core values should be at the core of your company
Many of the UK’s top performing companies link their success to a values-driven culture. Independent research on data from Great Place to Work on workplace cultures shows a link between corporate values and financial performance.
But there’s a warning note too. Lots of companies have values but fail to use them properly. And that’s a real loss. What really matters as well as the values themselves is how people see and experience them every day. It’s fine to publish them on your website – and from a recruitment perspective you’d be wise to do it. But when a new employee joins you, they won’t be asking how they should behave. They’ll be watching other employees, feeding off them and taking their cues from them. If they’ve joined your business on the basis of what you say rather than what you do, it won’t be long until they suss you out and head for the door.
Strong and relevant core values shape a strong culture, by providing a form of unspoken leadership that guides and inspires employees and the workforce as a whole. These core values should be the foundation of everything you do – not only at the external recruitment stage but throughout every aspect of your business.
There are many ways you can embed your values. Make your business decisions with your values in mind. It should permeate through your leadership; hold managers and leaders accountable for living the values. Your leaders must demonstrate them through their every day behaviour. Employees don’t like hypocrites leading their organisations.
Make choices about your clients and suppliers based on those values. Provide recognition programmes as a way for people to demonstrate how they’re living company values and to highlight examples of the kinds of behaviours that bring those values to life. Look at your internal recruitment processes. Do you have candidates who represent what the company’s all about in their day to day behaviour? Are they the ones being promoted?
Values aren’t only an essential part of effective recruitment. They’re a crucial reason why people choose to stay working for you and they’re also a vital element for attracting customers too. Ignore them at your peril.