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How Your Organization’s Core Values Help Determine Hiring Success

Stacy Pursell

The VET Recruiter ®

Perhaps at no other time in the history of the United States have core values been so important to the hiring success of organizations.

There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the biggest one is the emergence of the Millennial Generation. As I’ve addressed before, what is important to the Millennial Generation is different than what is important to the generations that preceded it. That makes perfect sense. After all, that’s been the pattern. What’s important to one generation of people is not necessarily what is important to another, and that includes within the realm of the employment marketplace.

And one of the things that IS important to Millennials is an organization’s set of core values.

They want to work for an organization that has a set of core values that is similar to their own. This is one of the ways in which they feel fulfillment. For today’s younger workers, drawing a hefty paycheck or climbing the career ladder isn’t enough. They derive satisfaction from other areas of their employment, and if your organization wants to hire the best and brightest of this generation, then it must make certain that it is addressing these areas.

A 5-pack of Millennial values

A sensible place to start is with a definition of core values. Basically, these are the fundamental beliefs of a person or an organization. These beliefs serve a couple of purposes. First, they shape the differences between right and wrong in the mind of the person (or people) who adhere to them. Second, they help to drive the words and actions of that person (or people).

Something else to keep in mind is that core values can be almost endlessly diverse. Beliefs can be as different as the kinds of people who inhabit the planet. However, we’re narrowing our focus down to potential candidates for your organization’s open positions, the majority of which are Millennials. In light of that, one of the keys to hiring success is to identify which core values are important to Millennials.

And while there are certainly more than the ones I’m about to list, below are five core values that Millennials typically deem to be important in the workplace:


Millennials want to feel as though they belong. They gravitate toward interacting with others. This also means working in groups to pursue a common goal. Perhaps you’ve heard of an organization that has a “family atmosphere” even though nobody who works there is related. That’s an atmosphere in which Millennials will usually excel.


Keep in mind that Millennials grew up in a global world. That’s because they grew up with the Internet at their fingertips. The concept of diversity is ingrained in their brains. They know about it, they value it, and they want to experience it (including within the workplace).


Millennials want to be recognized for the work that they do, and not necessarily in a big way. A simple “thank-you” or other kind word will do, although recognition in front of peers and colleagues is always appreciated.


The VET Recruiter conducted a survey of professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. One of the questions involved what those professionals want most in an employer. Perhaps the most common answer was working for an organization that treats its employees with respect.


You’ve probably heard the phrase “Purpose, not profit” when it comes to Millennials. That phrase is absolutely true. Millennials typically crave finding purpose just as important as being paid for their work, and some of them find it even more important.

Now that we’ve discussed the core values of the candidates that you want to hire, let’s talk about your organization’s core values.

A 3-step plan for success

It’s not enough to know about the core values of candidates. You must also know about the core values of your organization. The reason is simple: candidates will base career decisions about where they want to work, at least in part, upon the core values of the employers involved. Once again, we’ll start with a definition. The core values for an Animal Health organization or Veterinary practice are those guiding principles of how that employer operates in terms of business and the employment marketplace.

However, it can go beyond that (and it should go beyond that.) An employer’s core values should also include their involvement in the community in some fashion. Although that doesn’t mandate direct involvement, the organization’s core values should mention the community or describe how the organization is impacting the community in a positive way through the carrying out of its values.

Why is this important? Because as we’ve discussed, community is important to Millennials. It’s one of their core values. If they also know that it’s one of your core values, then they’ll be more likely to want to work for your organization.

With all of this in mind, there are three specific steps that you should take:

  1. Identify your organization’s core values.
  2. Articulate your organization’s core values, which means to formally document them and make them accessible.
  3. Communicate your organization’s core values, both to your employees and also to candidates in the marketplace.

And of course, if you’re working with a search consultant or recruiter, they can not only identify the top candidates in the marketplace, but they can also help to communicate your core values to those candidates. Core values are no longer an antiquated and forgotten part of the hiring process. Over the past several years, they’ve evolved into an integral part of the process. Candidates we work with ask us about our client’s core values and that impacts their decision about whether they want to move forward in the hiring process.

In fact, if your organization neglects its core values (and the core values of job seekers and candidates), then it puts itself at risk for missing out on top talent and the chance to hire the best that the Animal Health industry and the Veterinary profession have to offer.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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