Values at work: finding your perfect fit

Written by Alanna Harrington, Consultant Analyst (R&D Psychologist)
Previously published by PSI Talent Management or Cubiks, prior to becoming Talogy.

“The importance individuals place on different aspects in their working life, which helps to guide their judgement and behaviour in the work environment.”

Why do work values matter?

Work values are important because the extent to which the individual’s values are in line with the organisations (also known as value congruence) is one of the key components of person-organisation fit. Person-organisation fit is the degree to which an individual’s traits, values and beliefs are aligned with those of the organisation.

Why is Person-Organisation fit something we should care so much about?

Many of the elements assessed in selection processes relate to a candidate’s ability to perform well. What is considered less frequently is a candidate’s likelihood of remaining in the organisation, which is typically a subjective judgement formed during an interview. While it is very important to try to establish whether someone will perform well, we should also consider whether they are likely to stay. It is pointless to hire a high-performer, and invest time in on-boarding and training, only to have them leave shortly afterwards and have to start the process all over again.

In 2017, the CIPD estimated that recruitment costs alone for a new hire range from £2,000 for the average employee to £6,000 for a senior manager.

The Person-Organisation fit – and more specifically value congruence – has been empirically demonstrated to relate to commitment, job satisfaction and intention to stay. A few key studies in this area are have shown:

  • When someone’s personal work values aligned with their perception of the organisations’ values, they were significantly less likely to harbour intentions to leave. 1
  • Person-Organisation fit contributed to the variance in turnover and job satisfaction in a sample of employees from eleven different call centres. Call centres have on average 32% yearly turnover. 2,3
  • 172 studies of person-organisation fit found strong relationships with job satisfaction, organisational commitment and intention to stay. 4

It is pointless to hire a high-performer, and invest time in on-boarding and training, only to have them leave shortly afterwards and have to start the process all over again.

How can you incorporate values-based Person-Organisation fit into your selection process?

Cubiks Capture assesses the alignment of an applicant’s work values to the organisation’s values. It provides a realistic organisation preview as opposed to a realistic job preview, in that it communicates the organisation’s culture and brand to the applicant throughout the assessment experience. From the applicant’s responses to a series of images and phrases presented through a social media style feed, the Cubiks Capture algorithms calculate the degree of fit within an organisation.
It is a fun, brief and engaging task that enables HR professionals to get a sense of an individual’s work values and/or interests. At the end, applicants who are a strong fit will be encouraged to progress themselves on to the next stage of the selection process, while candidates with lower levels of fit will be advised that it may not be the best fit for them.

If values alignment is so important, why is the decision left in the applicant’s hands?

Empowering the applicant to make this decision themselves will encourage them to be more honest in their responses, thus enabling them to get a better understanding of what is important to them and whether an organisation shares their values. For employers, this will result in filtering out some of the applicants who are not a good fit before assessing competencies related to performance. In turn, this decreases the chance of hiring someone who seems like a good choice because of their likelihood to perform well, but ends up being dissatisfied and / or disengaged – which could ultimately result in their departure.


1) Van Vianen et al., (2007)
2) McCulloch & Turban (2007)
3) Anton (2005)
4) Kristof-Brown et al., (2005)

Recruiting for cultural fit

What you need to know to get started

Organisations are increasingly turning to the concept of “culture fit” for successful recruiting and hiring. Ensuring that new recruits have values and beliefs that align with those of the existing organisational culture can be even more important than skills, qualifications, and experience when it comes to successful hiring decisions.

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