Talent Selection: Core Values Are More Than Words
You may think that the guiding light for your small company is your business plan. After all, you need to know what problem your customers have and how you’re solving it. A business plan on its own should help you recruit great talent, right? If it doesn’t include a statement and focus on your company’s values that serve as the cornerstone for your talent management strategy, then you are missing the key component. Without clarity on this element, your emerging growth business won’t even make it past the start-up stage.
Defining your core values is step one, but HOW you use them is even more critical. They need to be the beacon for focus and optimizing your Talent Management efforts. Here is everything you need to know about how to live your core values as a small business or emerging growth company—and the pitfalls that could befall you if you don’t.
Pitfalls of Running Your Business Without Clear Core Values
If you’re not clear on your core values, it’s difficult to make smart decisions on how you hire and manage your team. When you don’t know what you stand for, anything can start to sound like a good idea if it means more profit or faster results! Core values are not as simple as “transparency” or “quality.” They need to provide clear direction about what’s important to you and what sets you apart. They become the essence for how you attract, evaluate, and select your next teammates.
One of the most common ways this problem comes to light is when a small business starts to recruit new Talent. If you’re unclear about core values, you might struggle to differentiate between candidates. Do you want someone who embodies humility and constant improvement? Are you looking for a person who imbues every action with boldness?
When it comes to hiring, small businesses must get clear on their principles before they sit down to craft a role description. Don’t waste your advertising budget or time on recruitment before you solidify your fundamental beliefs. Not sure if you have clear core values? Have a casual meeting with your team and ask them. If your entire team doesn’t know them and operate by them, then they are either meaningless or non-existent. Identifying talent that matches a lists of skills and experience is only half the battle.
How to Put Your Core Values into Action
Now that you understand the pitfalls of operating without clear core values, it’s time to figure out what yours really are. Unlike mission and vision, your core values act as specific measures for evaluating talent (both new hires and existing team members). Your start-up’s core values need to fully guide your business decisions from the tone of your marketing to the look and feel of your team meetings. If you’re new to this process, set aside plenty of time to think deeply about your company’s values. Bring in key personnel to participate in this conversation if it’s appropriate.
Got your values? It’s time to put them into action. Your company should live and breathe these principles every day. They are the true definition of your company culture—not happy hours, rewards, or other recognition tactics. Finding the right people who align with your core values will help keep your employees happy at work.
Start by keeping the list short. Every person on your team should be able to rattle off these core values by heart. If these values are new to your team, you could start by running role-playing sessions at the start of your weekly team meetings. Open the door to interactive and honest conversations about how your core values should play out with customers as well as internally. Then, make sure they are accurately woven into every single element of your business. From the newsletter to the website, sales scripts to email footers, let them shine forth from every corner of your emerging business.
Experience the Benefits of Aligning Your Business with Your Core Values
Aligning your business with your core values not only feels great but can lead to increased employee retention, higher profits, and more efficient decision-making. When it’s clear what you stand for, you can hire—and replace wrong-fit team members—with confidence. When you trust and understand your company’s core values, you can make difficult partnership and design decisions with ease.
Core values are the rock your business is built on. If your values are stuck on a document in a drawer somewhere, now is the time to breathe some life back into them. The future of your small business or start-up company depends on having clear core values. Live these values every day and you can grow your business with conviction.
About Bell Falls Search
Bell Falls Search is an Executive Search firm that partners with Small Businesses and Emerging Growth Companies to build self sustainable Talent Attraction solutions.
Our team has accomplished this across a wide range of industries, functional expertise and experience levels…and we have the case studies to prove it!
Contact Ron Laneve to learn how Bell Falls Search can help with your Talent growth goals.