Values based recruitment and retention

A values-based approach to recruitment can help you improve staff performance and turnover. 

Find and keep people with the right values to work in adult social care

Recruiting people for their values and behaviours ensures that you get the right people to work in your organisation, who know what it means to provide high quality care and support and are more likely to stay.

This approach involves establishing strong workplace values and ensuring that your workforce matches them. Doing this will help to reduce time and wasted resources in recruiting the wrong people.

How can we support you?

Our values based recruitment and retention toolkit (below) has practical tools and templates to help.

Use this checklist to identify the aspects of values based recruitment that you already have in place, and the areas that you need to develop further.

If you want to know how to get started with this approach, come to our free workshop - launching again in Spring 2019. 

If your organisation already has established workplace values, we can come and deliver a bespoke seminar.

Finding the right people for your organisation - This practical seminar will help you identify your ‘ideal candidate’ and design methods that help you get the most out of application forms, interviewing and selection process.


New seminar for 2019: Valuable conversations, conversations that count

Thursday 18 July, Skills for Care office in London

This new seminar introduces a ‘values-based’ method to effectively communicate with staff to get the best outcomes for everyone. The seminar pulls on popular theory’s and real-life examples to equip delegates with a new approach to having constructive conversations.

To retain staff, employees need to know that they’re valued, and their contribution is recognised. Communicating in a meaningful way helps staff feel heard, supported and empowered, which in turn, increases loyalty and retention.

During the seminar delegates will:

  • recognise the impact of their own attitudes and behaviours
  • learn how to break the ‘cycle of conflict’
  • explore approaches for giving valuable feedback.

Click here to book your place

Where’s the evidence?

ADASS's national workforce development group endorse this approach and say:

Values based recruitment has the potential to unlock new pools of candidates to work in social care - essential if the sector is to meet rising demand for care and support in an increasingly competitive labour market. 

The right values, behaviours and attitudes are the raw materials for quality care and support - good induction, training and management will do the rest.

A study published by Skills for Care in April 2016, suggests that employers taking a values based approach to recruitment and retention are reaping the rewards. Read the key messages here. You can also view our infographic and read the full report

A toolkit to help you

This toolkit contains practical tools and templates to help you find people with the right values.

Follow the steps below to identify, embed and check your workplace values. If you already know what you're looking for, here is an A-Z of all the resources in the toolkit. 


Before you can recruit people with the right values and behaviours, you need to identify and agree your own workplace values.

Your toolkit

Events to support you

Learn from others

Once you’ve identified and agreed your workplace values, it’s important to have a process for embedding them. It’s vital they are integrated into everyday activities so that everyone is responsible for embedding them.

Your toolkit


Don’t assume candidates know about your workplace values. Be clear about what's expected of them and check that their values match your workplace values.

Your toolkit

Advertising your job role and promoting yourself

Applications and short listing

Interviewing and selecting candidates

It’s important that you ask the right questions to assess a candidate’s values and behaviours. 

  • You could use A Question of Care: A career for you in the interviewing process. This online, interactive quiz uses scenario based videos and questions to assess people’s values and behaviours. Read our guidance to find out how it could support your recruitment process.
  • Learn from Dussindale Park nursing home who use scenario based interviewing questions to find candidates with the right values and behaviours.
  • Assessment centres are increasingly being used in the sector as a way to select people for jobs. Our best practice guide to assessment centres will provide you with tips and ideas to help you successfully plan an assessment centre.
  • Involving people who need care and support and carers as part of the selection process can really help draw out the values, behaviours and attitudes of job applicants. Read how Avalon Care use this approach to support their recruitment.
  • Ensure your recruitment process adheres to the right legislation, policies, procedures and best practice. Poor selection methods will make it difficult to defend a challenged recruitment decision. Read our guide on avoiding discrimination and prejudice in selection.

Should I just focus on the values of the individual?

The values of your employees should always be an important part of your recruitment process.

However, some roles require specific qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience which should also be considered.

Here are some example standard interview questions you could ask, in areas such as commitment, motivation, flexibility, organisational skills and self-motivation.

  • Learn from Nina Osbourne, an individual employer who employs her own personal assistants. She requires quite specific support, so her recruitment process includes a combination of practical information and the type of person they need to be.

Pre-employment checks

Any job offer should be conditional based on satisfactory background checks.

  • Employers are under no legal obligation to provide job references and many employers will have a standard reference policy where only basic information is provided. Because of this, it can be argued that employers should not rely too heavily on employment references. However, you might find this example reference request form a useful template to decide what information is important to you as an organisation.
  • You could face a civil penalty if you employ an illegal worker and haven’t carried out a correct ‘right to work’ check. Our eligibility to work in the UK checklist includes the evidence needed to prove a person has the right to live and work in the UK, as well as links to further information and support.
  • Don’t ignore candidates who have a criminal record; this could mean you lose talent with real value. This guidance from NACRO will help you to safely recruit ex-offenders, and explains the legal duties of employers. 

Research shows that people who feel valued and supported in their job are more likely to stay in their role and remain working for you as an employer. Reinforcing and communicating your workplace values during induction is an important way of achieving this. 

How can I include values in the induction process?

From day one it’s important to be clear about your expected workplace values and behaviours. 

Your toolkit

  • Examples of what employers would like/ don’t want to see shows how values and behaviours might look in practice. Employers can use it to develop a leaflet that shows workers the meaning of values and how to implement them into their work.
  • The Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that workers have the same induction - learning the same skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support.

It’s important to integrate values in supervision, appraisal and progression reviews.

How can I include values in the supervision and appraisal process?

  • Speak with employees about the workplace values and check they are appropriate, current and reflected in day to day service delivery.
  • Link targets and objectives to your workplace values to help workers know what is expected. This also provides a formal setting to measure and review their progress and identify where positive changes can be made.
  • Ask for feedback from the people you support about worker’s values, behaviours and attitudes.
  • Acknowledge and reward your workers for demonstrating the workplace values. 

Leaders and managers are vital to help workers understand why values matter and how they fit into their day to day work. If you’re a leader or manager, you should encourage your employees to take responsibility for upholding positive workplace values.

Why do we need to involve leaders and managers?

Embedding values is not a tick-box solution. It‘s a continual process of development which needs ‘buy-in’ from everyone.

How can I include values at leadership and management level?

The Leadership Qualities Framework supports leadership at all levels and explains what good leadership looks like in different settings and situations. It’s important that leaders and managers reinforce values.  


It’s important you have a process to check that your workplace values are understood, being upheld and are having a positive impact.

How do we know whether our values are working?

Supervision provides a formal setting for reinforcing individual and workplace values. It should encourage two-way discussion which will help you to find out on what is working well and where positive changes can be made.

How will we know if we need to change our workplace values?

  • Talk to stakeholders, particularly those in need of care and support. Gathering feedback on workplace and individual values will show if and where change is needed.
  • Ask people who leave your organisation why they left; this may identify issues or gaps in your workplace values and behaviours. Read how The Good Care Group ‘learned from leavers’ to improve their retention. 
  • Learn from Warrington Community Living and Angel Human Resources about the different methods they used to check whether values are working and how staff uphold values on a day to day basis.
Valuable conversations, conversations that count
Thursday 18 July in London



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This new seminar has been  developed for adult social care employers wanting to retain their staff by learning how to have ‘valuable conversations’ at work.


Book here