Shortlisting and selection


Shortlisting candidates is an important part of the hiring process. It can take approximately 10 weeks from advertising a vacancy to getting a person into post. By carefully considering all of the factors involved, you can increase your chances of finding the right candidate for your open position.

The shortlisting and selection process within recruitment can pose numerous challenges and is one of the key factors impacting the overall time to hire.

Values-based recruitment is an approach to recruitment that focuses on the candidate’s values and behaviours, in addition to their skills and experience. The goal of values-based recruitment is to find candidates who share the organisation’s values and who will be a good fit for the company culture.

This section provides best practice advice for making the process as efficient as possible and achieving overall recruitment and retention success.

Key challenges

  • It can be difficult to define and communicate the organisation’s values in a way that is clear and consistent. This can make it difficult for candidates to understand what you are looking for and to demonstrate that they have the desired values
  • There is a risk of bias as interviewers may be more likely to hire candidates who share their own personal values and beliefs
  • There is no foolproof way to assess a candidate’s values. Interviews, tests, and other methods can all be used, but they all have limitations. It is important to use a variety of methods and to be aware of the limitations of each one


  • Gain a better understanding of people’s values on a deeper level and make more informed choices
  • Creates a more accessible environment, which is favoured among candidates for providing a more ‘human’ approach to interviews
  • People who share the organisations values are more likely to be happy and satisfied in their role, which can lead to lower turnover rates

Pros and cons of values-based recruitment


  • Lower recruitment costs
  • Positive return on investment
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Relatively low cost to introduce
  • Can be good for people who show the right attitude but lack formal training or experience


  • Takes time to research, design and implement changes in policies and procedures, and communicate the changes
  • Helpful if you already have established organisational values, which are well embedded
  • Candidate success is enhanced but not guaranteed

Source: The Good Employment Learning Lab

Implementing values-based recruitment

The Good Employment Learning Lab trains managers to implement values-based recruitment (see case study below). There are lots of resources, which include sample interview questions that can be used, as well as plenty of insight on implementing necessary policy and procedure updates (see links below).

Case study: The Good Employment Learning Lab

The Good Employment Learning Lab is a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to develop and test the most effective ways of supporting line managers to manage people. They run programmes for line managers to improve their skills and confidence when delivering values-based recruitment, which has generated beneficial outcomes for participants as illustrated in the video below.

Useful links and resources