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Bringing values into leadership recruitment.

Recruitment processes that bring values into focus as much as experience and knowledge bring a more human approach to the selection experience while still valuing diversity amongst our senior leadership population.



Recruitment processes are being delivered for senior leaders in NHS Scotland using a Once for Scotland Values Based Recruitment approach and are being supported by the Project Lift team. This approach places as much importance on the values of leaders, and how they relate to the values of NHS Scotland, as on their skills and experience.

Whilst an essential activity for our executive and senior leadership population, this is an example of activity wherein the Project Lift team takes a supporting role to Scottish Government and Boards where this is needed.

Details on our commitments can be found in the sections below and it is noted that data pertaining to specific VBR activity is held locally at Board level.

Our plan for the past year

  • We will evolve and improve the experience of Values Based Recruitment for employers, panellists and applicants
  • We will enable consistency of approach and methodology, with employing organisations.
  • We will support a deeper reach of Values Based Recruitment to formal appointments within organisations in partnership with employers.

What have we achieved - the 2020 reality.

  • We have gathered feedback from those involved in executive level Values Based Recruitment processes to highlight areas for improvement
  • Work has commenced to gain insights from those areas which are already taking a holistic approach to Values Based Recruitment

What have we found difficult this year and how might we do things differently?

  • Our exploratory work has reinforced the ongoing tension between a desire for national consistency and the importance of local autonomy to ensure that the needs of each individual board or organisation are met
  • It has also emphasised that the experience of those involved in such processes should always be a central consideration and that the understanding and decisions of employers and recruitment panels is crucial
  • Progress has been slower than hoped due to the refocusing of resources on our response to COVID-19 however  COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of recruitment as the starting point of a healthy relationship with our employers in achieving fulfilling work.

2020 and beyond.

  • We will continue to engage with those who ‘own’ Values Based Recruitment at a local level to learn from their experience and inform good practice
  • In doing so, we will support the extended, proportionate and effective use of Values Based Recruitment across health and social care and encourage recruitment processes to be viewed as a relational experience, contributing to the on-going development and growth of individuals, whether they are successful or not.