Hire Better: Know Your Team's Core Values

Hire Better: Know Your Team’s Core Values

Trevor Gilbert
Authored byTrevor Gilbert
Sean Campbell
Authored bySean Campbell

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Do you have the wrong people in the wrong roles? You have two options: resign yourself to mediocrity or rethink how you manage your team.

In the latest episode of the B2B Revealed Podcast, host Sean Campbell interviewed Dan Cox, CEO of EXOS Advisors. A long-time executive coach and expert in talent management, Cox shared his experiences using the Core Values Index (CVI) to help companies optimize their workforces.

Does The Predisposition Suit The Position?

Cox has spent years working with leadership teams to help them find solutions to what’s hurting their productivity. To do this, he relies on the CVI: an assessment of peoples’ core values.

According to Cox, research has shown that peoples’ core values rarely change over time. As a result, the test goes beyond mere personality or behavioral tests like Myers-Briggs.

Practically speaking, this test helps companies figure out if they have people in roles where they can make their most significant contribution.

It can also show if there’s a misalignment between someone’s core values and motivators with their current role. According to Cox, this is a common problem. He believes a majority of the workforce is ill-suited to their positions.

For example, companies may misguidedly hire problem solvers in roles that have no problem-solving needs. Or, they may put people who thrive with fixed processes in creative positions that require a high degree of flexibility.

What are your Core Values?

The CVI defines four core value personas: the Innovator, the Banker, the Builder, and the Merchant. Each of these pairs with a

Dan is CEO & Managing Advisor at EXOS Advisors.

“core energy.” Innovators are guided by wisdom, bankers by knowledge. Builders are motivated by power, and merchants are driven by love. You can find out more about these values here.


The CVI reveals the types of roles employees are predisposed to excel at. For example, Cox shared the findings of a CVI assessment implemented at a wastewater plant in California. The plant discovered that the 10-person maintenance team was made up of innovators who prized creative problem-solving. “The Achilles’ heel of the problem solver is that they will continue to solve problems, even when there are no problems to be solved,” Cox said.

Since the preventative maintenance central to the job required very little problem-solving, this was a clear misalignment. Further, the maintenance workers were unhappy in their positions since they weren’t able to meaningfully contribute their core strengths.

Meanwhile, the company had twice as many people as it needed to get the job done. All the company required was a few people who thrived with checklists. Instead, they had an unwieldy team spending the bulk of their time seeking out problems to solve.

Firing Isn’t the Only Option

Once a misalignment is evident, companies have to make some tough choices. Should companies leave employees in roles they aren’t wired to do or lay them off? Neither, according to Cox.

Instead, a more holistic approach is needed. Companies need to rethink their hiring processes to make sure they’re getting the right people in the right roles from the start. They should also look for ways to allow current employees to draw on their core values in their work. This may require some reshuffling of roles and responsibilities. Most companies find ways to give misaligned employees better-suited jobs in the same organization.

To Fire or Not to Fire: Tis Not the Question

Getting the right people in the right roles doesn’t just serve efficiency and profits. Cox ultimately sees it as a “humanitarian effort.” If the CVI can help people find roles that make them happy while furthering the companies’ goals, it’s a win for everyone.

The B2B Revealed Podcast is brought to you by Cascade Insights, a market research firm specializing in B2B technology. Need more B2B brilliance? There are many ways to follow us.

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