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Read or listen to articles published in this section and via BartonRock’s Digital Careers podcast series – also featuring interviews with high profile business leaders internationally.

How should values feature in leadership hiring?

Look to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, for inspiration. According to their CHRO, Ulrika Blesert, the company’s success is not just about furniture, but about values. Founder Ingvar Kamprad’s values of resourcefulness, togetherness, and ingenuity have shaped Ikea’s culture, fostering entrepreneurship, kindness, and humility.

Ikea says these core values drive the company’s approach to finding the right fit when recruiting.

Let’s take a step back 20 years. Back then, company values were often met with cynicism. They were seen as mere words on a wall, having little impact on how the company actually operated. But times have changed.

Today, values (and purpose) significantly influence a decision to join a business, especially for younger generations.

When hiring around values, it’s imperative to assess leaders based on evidence – to understand how someone behaves in different settings.

My company’s leadership effectiveness business NewlandRock offers expertise in precisely this area.

Equally important is to be able to articulate to a prospective hire how they would see your company’s values in action.

Here are just a few initiatives from Ikea that have underpinned their values and cohesive culture:

◾️ Promoting a ‘leadership by all’ commitment empowers staff at all levels to make decisions and exhibit consistent behaviours and expectations from the C-suite to the warehouse.

◾️Introducing a ‘Go Bananas Card’ for company management teams to enable them to take risks without fear of reprisal

◾️ Performance reviews focus 50% on individual achievement and results; the other half measures behaviour and values alignment.

Companies must not just talk about their values. They must live them. This is especially crucial during onboarding, as new hires can experience inconsistencies between the company’s values and actions. Failing to align can lead to the loss of top talent.

About BartonRock: BartonRock is the executive search partner for high-growth consumer and retail businesses

We manage the careers of executives whose know-how and commercial acumen steer the strategic direction for companies to thrive.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to operate in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments.

For more information visit: or contact or call +44 (0) 20 8092 6048.

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