Building Your Team Based on Your Core Values

We shared a few weeks ago about our core values and how we’ve leaned into those over the past few weeks and months. The importance of understanding those values resurfaced yesterday during a conversation with a client who is hiring new staff. As she shared, a new employee’s skill is obviously important, but even more important is that a new employee fits her culture.

We couldn’t agree more. Here’s why…

For us, here at OrangeBall, we’re walking down a similar path as we’re looking to make our latest new hire. Like this client we were chatting with, there are specific skills and experiences we’re hiring for. The right candidate has to be able to do the job. That’s a given. But even more essential, they need to fit the culture we’re building. To be part of this team, there needs to be alignment with our core values – not a few of them, but all of them.

A recent article in Success magazine spoke to this idea. Gil Gibori, co-founder and CEO of The House in Chicago, shared this, “Every business operates differently. They reflect the personality and values of their founders. Hire a personality, never a resume.”

We’ve heard a similar message from our friends at the Katapult Network here in the Twin Cities. Their work placing recent college grads into professional jobs is grounded around their SPARK method – an assessment of a candidate’s personality, work style, goals, and experiences. As they’ve shared, “People are more than just a resume. We take a human-focused approach to assessing candidate skills and talents to connect each individual with great career opportunities.”

The whole conversation about “culture-fit” can get very blurred and confusing. It may seem like “fitting” the culture is tied to being like everyone else, identical to the core, so that we’re always in agreement and unison. That couldn’t be further from the case. We’re not robots. We’re diverse human beings, individuals with unique backgrounds and attributes. Those differences create great strength.

Instead, our focus is on making sure we’re aligned around the most important things when it comes to culture fit and hiring. We lean back into those core values we mentioned in the beginning. Looking at OrangeBall’s core values, here are six questions we’re asking about anyone who wants to join our team…

  1. Are they naturally focused on serving others?
  2. Are they intentionally positive?
  3. Do they embrace a “simple-done-well” approach?
  4. Are they curious listeners?
  5. Are they motivated to grow personally and help clients grow?
  6. Will they do the right thing even when it’s hard?

The answers to these questions are very telling and non-negotiable. When the answers to these questions are yes’s, there’s likely a good fit. If the answers include a few no’s, then those gaps tell another story. For us, those no’s signal that someone isn’t a good fit for OrangeBall. Frankly, they don’t have Bounce.

Having our values in writing, where we can see them, and reviewing them on a regular basis, has been a powerful tool for our team. They’ve made our decision-making easier, created more alignment with our clients and staff, and let everyone know who we are and what we stand for.


Whether you’re adding to your team, considering what kind of culture you want to build, or assessing the employees and clients you’re working with, use your core values as your measuring stick. Haven’t taken the time to name your core values? Don’t wait another day! Invest some time considering what’s most important to you and your brand, the things that matter at the core, and put them in writing. You’ll be glad you did!

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