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Have you ever been at the receiving end of bad hiring, either for yourself, someone who joined your team, or your boss? The end result, stress, bad interactions and then you have to start the cycle all over again: very clearly reflected in Einstein’s definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” There is always a better way and getting it right as a leader is crucial now for your business success. Look towards the future, discover ideal hiring approaches based on leadership values and you will have continuing success.

“I Have Learned That As Long As I Hold Fast To My Beliefs And leadership Values, And Follow My Own Moral Compass, Then The Only Expectations I Need To Live Up To Are My Own.” 

-Michelle Obama
Values-Based Hiring Benefits

Amy Gulati asks in SHRMIs Values-Based Hiring Right for Your Business” and why do leadership values matter in hiring? “We are driven by thoughts and beliefs, and this is the greatest predictor of how someone will move in his or her career path,” said David Naylor, executive VP for global learning and development, 2logical, N.Y. And, Naylor said, a candidate’s beliefs and leadership values will drive his behaviour. In this sense, values-based interviewing differs from the popular technique of behavioural interviewing in which hiring managers ask candidates to describe how they responded in past scenarios. To identify leadership values that are positively correlated with workplace success, Naylor recommended focusing on five key areas:

  • Has the candidate shown a propensity to take ownership?
  • Does the candidate believe in his or her own adaptability?
  • Can the candidate navigate adversity?
  • Does the candidate believe that he or she can set and achieve goals?
  • Does the candidate believe that he or she can overcome fears?

Identifying traits in candidates that are tied to long-term organizational success gets to the very root of strategic hiring, according to Ryan Naylor, CEO of culture recruiting platform, based in Phoenix. “Clearly, leadership values and cultural fit have an impact on talent acquisition and talent management that lasts far beyond the hiring process.”

David Naylor added that turnover due to poor alignment of culture or values “is very costly and has lots of downstream effects; the hiring managers themselves become burned out.” David Naylor added, “The biggest thing that short-circuits a hire is a confirmation bias. You look at a resume and determine whether someone is a good candidate or bad candidate, and the rest of the interview is about confirming the initial judgment.”

This means that in the age of HR technology, applicant tracking systems and hiring assessments, there’s no substitute for in-depth interviews with candidates if your true goal is to evaluate their values and beliefs. “Most companies simply post a job description listing duties and responsibilities,” said Ryan Naylor. “When they include information about organizational culture, mission and values, the number of applicants dramatically increases.” He added that the quality of candidates will be better since they should be able to determine whether they share your organizational values or not. In short, incorporating values into your hiring process can help improve many different aspects of talent acquisition—branding, sourcing, screening, on boarding and beyond.

Darth Vader Leadership

My blog refers to “Bad bosses and leadership” which literally does my head in. Why do we hire, keep, promote or accept poor leaders, horrible bosses and bad managers? How many of us have worked for a horrible boss? I have! Today I am hearing more and more stories from people who are even more frustrated with their managers. I call this the Darth Vader of Leadership. They don’t know what else to do with them, so they keep them. Poor leadership can break a business. Many businesses and organisations struggle to accept this.

After all, they are in charge of selecting effective managers and leaders, and admitting that their leadership choices are poor is perhaps a step too far. What stops businesses from simply replacing them with more talented people who will enable their teams to go from frustration, stress and alienation to inspiration, engagement and productivity? Its five things:

  • Attracting and hiring the wrong people. This is due to a number of reasons. It’s an urgent hire, halo effect, inability to recruit effectively, unconscious bias and inability to match a leader with the culture.
  • Unwillingness to invest in leadership development and coaching at all levels. We find especially during times like COVID, businesses put leadership development on the back burner when this is the perfect time to develop your leaders, so you come back stronger braver and better. In turn, businesses that don’t invest in training or development that is a fit for the business and a tick a box training with little ROI.
  • Next is a general inability to measure the performance of their leaders.
  • Businesses tend to lack robust metrics to compare the performance of their leaders and evaluate how they impact their teams, business units or the organisation as a whole.
  • Poor leaders who are not aligned with the values and behaviours within the culture of an organisation are not challenged and their poor behaviour is accepted.
  • Finally, companies who focus on the wrong soft skills, selecting leaders on confidence rather than competence, charisma rather than humility and courage, and narcissism rather than integrity and kindness.

Luckily, the solution to our leadership problems is simpler than people may think. First, organisations should pay attention to the qualities proven to make people better leaders: competence, courage, kindness, humility and integrity. Also organisations and especially our HR leaders and hiring managers must learn to use the right hiring methods and skills as well as use data and predictive assessments even when the results run counter to one’s intuition, they will help organisations detect true leadership potential and select and promote the right people.

They must spend time getting to know values and motives of potential leaders and how they fit into the culture of an organisation. Finally get the wrong people off the bus. Having a bad manager and boss will cause you a lot more pain and heartache in the long run if you don’t deal with it. Have the courageous conversation now and we know your people and business with flourish. It might be painful in the short term however if not dealt with, it will be detrimental to your business. Remember culture eats strategy for breakfast and who leads your Culture? Your leaders.


Debi Wolfe, a Forbes Council Member shows “3 steps to hire for your organisation.” Your company values are the core tenets that direct culture and priorities. Hiring based on these values means you will have employees who integrate faster, are more productive on teams and are more likely to stick around. It’s just a matter of looking for the right traits and hiring for values. It’s time to go beyond “company fit” — which notably can lead to hiring people who look and sound like the majority of the company, potentially hurting goals related to diversity and inclusion.

Hiring for matching values, rather than corporate fit, lets you find employees who mirror the way you think about your brand and your core concerns. Some companies have taken a collective approval approach to hiring in order to ensure that an employee gets a thorough examination by multiple hiring managers before being on boarded. So what are the best methods for ensuring you get qualified staff who embody your company’s mandates and values? Here are three steps:

  • Live your values.
  • Integrate values into attraction, sourcing and screening.
  • Ask the right questions.

On a final note, make sure your values are also integrated into the offer and on boarding process. Think about your candidate’s experience. It should feel smooth and consistent, from initial contact, whether that’s a job ad or direct outreach, through to their first day at work.

Use the tips above to integrate values into every stage of the employee life cycle. Hiring for values is a powerful approach to creating a company with a happy, inclusive workforce where everyone feels unified in working toward organizational goals.


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Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x

And, remember, Leadership starts from within, so grab my latest book FIRST COMES COURAGE!

Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x