Values-based recruitment

Values-based recruitment is about attracting and keeping people who have compatible values, attitudes and aspirations to work in a care, support or educational environment.

Why is values-based recruitment important?

In a care, support or educational role, the way that people connect interact with each other and with the people they work for is critical. How well a person performs, how happy they are, and how well the team works together is a product of the alignment of individual and collective values. Ultimately this determines how well the organisation is able to support people, and how long people stay productively in their roles.

Traditional recruitment struggles to place effective emphasis on these factors. By taking a new approach to recruiting through a consciously values-based process, we are better able to support people well and to build a healthy, happy workforce that wants to stay.


How do we design a values-based recruitment process?

Each organisation is unique, and as such will have a unique set of values they are looking to bring to life through their people.


To create a values-based recruitment process, we first need to identify the values that actually matter to the organisation. Following this, we can start to design tasks and challenges for the recruitment process that will help us to identify the people who are best suited to undertaking these roles in this workplace and who can establish rapport with the people that the organisation supports.

Some examples of tasks designed to values include:

Self-management: This is about finding a team that works together effectively without traditional management structures, by being accountable to each other and to the people they support. This is so much more than prioritising teamwork, or seeking positive relationships. Tasks that can draw out aligned values include:

  • Scenario exercises that focus on practical teamwork and accountability
  • Asking people to give each other feedback in pairs to demonstrate the key skill around giving feedback. This is crucial for self-managing teams
  • ‘Reverse interviews’, where representatives of the organisation are interviewed about the role by candidates
  • Asking people to contribute to the recruitment day, for example by bringing a lunch to share exploring an individual’s approach to sharing, cooperation and teamwork

Authenticity: Care and support roles benefit from people bringing their ‘whole self’ to work, rather that a sanitised ‘work persona’. Ways to find people who are willing to bring their whole self to work could include:

  • Crafting a ‘could this be you?’ person specification that goes far beyond qualifications and experience
  • Sharing one-page profiles, both by the candidates and by the people who are recruiting
  • ‘Human bingo’ – a game where the people applying for the role find out more about the people who work in the organisation and each other

A person-centred outlook: Ways to find out about how people express their sense of the values of care and compassion include:

  • Creating situations where people have to identify what really matters to others in the room
  • Demonstrating physicality and readiness to engage with others through hand massage

Commitment to co-production: This is about keeping people at the centre of decision-making about their care and support, appreciating people’s rights and dignity. Inviting people who will be using the service to participate in the recruitment process demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to co-production and gives the applicants an opportunity to show how they interact with the people they would be supporting.


How can we support you to implement values-based recruitment?

Bespoke organisational support

Helen Sanderson Associates works with organisations to deliver all stages of values-based recruitment, from identifying values, to building advertising material, developing recruitment days,selecting successful candidates together and bespoke design of induction to include individual and collective values profiling in support of aligning the new team with the required culture.

We offer this in partnership with values expert Jackie Le Fevre.

To find out more about how we could build a values-based recruitment process to suit your organisation’s needs, contact Helen on or get in touch via our contact page.



Our book ‘Person-Centred Teams’ can act as a useful introduction to identifying team purpose and bringing one’s whole self to work. Buy it online here.


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