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Values based recruitment

What is values based recruitment?

Values Based Recruitment (VBR) is a recruitment approach to help and attract and select employees whose personal values align with the values of the Council. In addition to displaying your work-based skills on your application for a job and at interview you are also required to show evidence of how you have displayed our values and behaviours.

Why we have introduced values into our recruitment process?

There are a number of reasons why or recruitment processes are being developed to ensure that we don’t just recruit people for their skills and competence but also look at how their own values align with our values.

Evidence suggests that values based recruitment is a good recruitment practice and staff with the right values are more likely to:

  • Work efficiently in teams
  • Experience greater job satisfaction

What are values?

Values are the things that matter to us: our judgements of what is important in life.

As a result, they can mean different things to different people, although organisational values describe the culture of an organisation. They are linked to the Council’s vision, priorities and strategic actions.

In the workplace this translates into:

  • What people think should be done
  • How people think things are done
  • How people think things ought to be done
  • What is important in the Council

Our values and behaviours

In preparation for your interview, think about how you would evidence each of our values below:

  • We are working together
  • We are fair
  • We are dependable
  • We put communities first 

Council’s approach to recruiting for values

There are a number of ways we can identify an applicant’s values as part of the recruitment process. Values based interviewing (VBI) is incorporated into the interview assessment process. VBI provides a tool for exploring what is important to you as an individual, thereby enabling measurement of the extent to which your values are aligned to those of the Council.

What is values-based interviewing?

You may be used to a traditional competency-based interview; in which you are asked questions related to your work-based skills. Within your interview at the Council, you will be asked questions relating to our values in addition to these questions you would expect in an interview. For these questions, you will be required to talk about a time when you displayed the value or behaviour, and what the outcome of the situation was.

It will be useful to think about a time when you may have displayed the value for which you are being asked. The outcome of the situation is the focus here; you should spend most of your time discussing the learning or changes you took rather than just a description of what happened.

After the initial question asking you about a time when you displayed a value or behaviour, you will be asked a series of probing questions which are designed to elicit evidence in relation to learning and reflection. You will be required to give examples and describe evidence of past behaviour, which will give your interviewer insight into how you are likely to behave in the future and if this in-line with the Council’s values and behaviours.

You should also think of your behaviour and how you come across in an interview situation, and if you’re reflecting our values in the way you present yourself.

A good technique for answering questions in VBI is the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result). The format to follow and the amount of time you should spend on each in your answers is illustrated below:


  Things to consider Amount of time
Situation Give an example of...
Briefly outline a situation when...
Task What was your objective?
What was your role?
Action What did you do?
How did you do it?
What was the outcome?
Result How did you feel about it?
What impact did it have on you/others?
What have you done differently?
What did you learn from it?

The values-based interview process

The assessment of values should take place alongside the traditional process of assessing the skills and technical knowledge of applicants. As a candidate, you must display both the competence required for the job, as well as the values required by the Council.

Feedback should be offered to you whether or not you are offered the post and will use the evidence gathered by the assessors during the interview. Please feel free to request feedback if you feel this is something that could help you in your continued professional development.

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