May 22nd 2020
As recession fears continue to mount, recruiters are preparing to face hiring conditions not experienced in over a decade.
Where We Are… and Where We’re Going
An influx of potential candidates might sound great to recruiters in our current tight market, but hiring will likely prove difficult in different ways. Filling new positions will still require time, resources, and money to sift through a greater number of applications. Recruiters need to be systematic, establishing clear objectives and guidelines for hiring new employees—and the sooner, the better.
Hiring for Values Alignment
With a glut of candidates, companies may be spoiled for choice in the next recession… but not all applicants will be the right fit. By using your company’s values as a north star in the hiring process, you’ll find employees who will succeed and add real value to your organization.
When it comes to hiring tech professionals, assessing the basics (technical know-how, problem-solving proficiencies, communication skills and critical thinking abilities) will continue to play an important part in the early stages of the interview process. But as the balance of power shifts full-circle, and we move from a candidate-driven to an employer-driven market, a focus on values alignment will be more important than ever when making tough hiring decisions.
It’s important to note that hiring for values does not mean hiring for cultural fit. In my experience, prioritizing cultural fit often results in companies largely hiring candidates who have similar personalities to existing employees, rather than those who may add new perspectives and ideas. A fit-based approach can also lead to unconscious bias, like favoring candidates who studied at the same university as the interviewer.
Interviewing for values, however, involves behavioral questions that seek to uncover how a potential employee would act in specific situations that are likely to arise at work. This approach results in hiring candidates who align with your company’s core beliefs, benefiting your organization for several reasons:
Empowerment: A values-based approach not only empowers the interviewer to make smarter hiring decisions, it also empowers the candidate to understand the culture and mission of your business and determine if it’s the right environment for their needs. This will help you weed out the candidates who are simply looking for any job in a recession, instead finding the ones who are truly interested in your organization.
Mutual Growth: Focusing on values naturally shifts the conversation towards establishing mutually beneficial success and partnership within the organization, ensuring growth for all parties. Finding employees that are actively engaged in their professional growth at your company will help reduce turnover when the economy recovers, and we cycle back to a candidate-driven market.
When the recession hits, you’ll likely be looking at stacks of candidates with similar skill sets. Recruiting for values alignment will help you cut through the clutter and find the technology professionals that will thrive within your organization—both in the near-term and years down the road.