Companies are human systems, not unemotional, inanimate objects. Therefore, the attraction and retention of the right individuals in any business is crucial to its success.

Finding the right individual for the job is all about human values — not just morals and ethics, but the things that are truly most valuable or important to us.

Everyone has a set of values or priorities, or things that are most to least important to them, which we can determine by observing the actions they take.

Values are like fingerprints: no two people have the same exact set of values and no one’s values are ultimately right or wrong. We need a way of identifying the true highest values of an individual before making a hiring decision, as well as their individual needs to understand how they will work within the mission, values and primary objectives of the organisation before hiring them for the job.

After 42 years of research into human behaviour, and countless hours observing how people’s lives demonstrate their highest values, I’ve developed what I call the Demartini Value Determination Process. This is a series of 13 questions that reveal what an individual truly values most. The questions are as follows:

  1. What do you fill your personal or professional space with most (at home and at the office)?
  2. How do you spend the majority of your time?
  3. What energises you the most?
  4. What do you spend most of your money on?
  5. Where are you most organised?
  6. Where are you the most disciplined and reliable?
  7. What do you think about or focus on most?
  8. What do you envision or dream about most?
  9. What do you internally dialogue with yourself about most?
  10. What do you externally dialogue with others about most?
  11. What are you inspired about the most?
  12. What do you most consistently and persistently set goals towards?
  13. What do you love to study, learn or read about most?

People give the top three answers for each, which allows the employer and potential employee to see a pattern forming. Then you need to distil the repeated and similar answers to find out what came up most often, second most often, third most often and so on until you have compiled a hierarchy of about three to seven values.

Our voids (things we perceive to be missing from our lives) give rise to our values.  Analyse what you value most and you will see that it is what you most perceive missing, or out of order, in your life. For example, if you perceive that you are missing money, then building wealth will appear high up on your set of values.

For those individuals trying to decide what job best suits them, knowing what they value most provides the clues to the type of work that would ensure an inspired and fulfilled life.

For employers who are looking towards more effective hiring, the Demartini Value Determination Process will reveal the keys to engaging your future employees. If your potential employees cannot see how their individual proposed job duties will help them fulfil their highest values, they will not be highly engaged or as productive at work.

By asking them: How will each of their clearly defined job duties help them fulfill their three highest values? and by having them repeatedly (20 times) answer this question for each duty, you can link their duties and their three highest values together and more fully inspire and engage them at work.

Because all employees’ values are evolving, it is wise to update these value determining and linking processes every quarter.