Employee values and attitude are extremely important in any business where potentially vulnerable people are at the centre of it. So much so that an incredible amount of resources and effort are being directed at values based recruitment in both the health and care sectors. However, as many employers know, finding, recruiting and retaining carers with the right attitude and values is still a challenge for one or more of the following reasons;
- It’s a sellers’ market, there are currently around 60,000 vacancies in the care sector
- Many people simply don’t know enough about themselves to be able to provide the answers
- Employers have to take at face value what an interviewee tells them on the subject
- People who want a job are capable of lying for it
With every respectable organisation now stating its own values publicly on their web sites, in brochures, etc, it’s an important way of telling people what you believe in, but it’s also a crib sheet to learn and repeat at interviews whether you personally share these values or not.
The motivations behind faking it are varied and not necessarily unscrupulous. Many people simply don’t have the experience or vocabulary to explain how they feel or about their inbuilt attitudes and values. Others may believe that they are indeed empathetic and caring, but in reality they aren’t and it often comes as much as a surprise to them as the employer finding this out.
Generally, during the first two months of employment is when any cracks will start to appear and the employer realises they have the wrong person in the job, which can result in the nightmare scenario of how to get rid of them if they don’t want to go. And go they must before they cause harm to the organisation or worse still a client or patient.
Potential solutions currently in place include everything from video based scenario tests to basic multiple choice questionnaires. All are extremely praiseworthy, but they are still potential victims of at least one of the weaknesses in the points above, with the exception of Skills for Care’s Values Based Recruitment Toolkit and its Finding and Keeping Workers.
Getting ‘under the skin’ of a potential employee pre-contract requires being able to identify and test their natural, inbuilt attitudes and values in way that is difficult to manipulate. In order to be able to influence the results of a test it’s critical that you know what and how it’s looking for answers. This is where the best psychometric tests work to an employer’s advantage. The most reliable of these tests are those which force the candidate to choose between two seemingly similar statements, using their gut feel as the only resource on questions that are not blindingly obvious in what they are measuring.
There are a whole raft of these available today, many of which are specifically designed for health and social care sectors and which Skills for Care lists on its web site as part of its Values Based Recruitment Toolkit. As an employer you should use these tools to de-risk your recruitment for your own and your clients’ sake. Guesswork and ‘face value’ based decisions should not play a part in any values based recruitment strategy today. Take our word for it.