Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 859–881 | Cite as

Recruiting for values in healthcare: a preliminary review of the evidence

  • Fiona PattersonEmail author
  • Linda Prescott-Clements
  • Lara Zibarras
  • Helena Edwards
  • Maire Kerrin
  • Fran Cousans


Displaying compassion, benevolence and respect, and preserving the dignity of patients are important for any healthcare professional to ensure the provision of high quality care and patient outcomes. This paper presents a structured search and thematic review of the research evidence relating to values-based recruitment within healthcare. Several different databases, journals and government reports were searched to retrieve studies relating to values-based recruitment published between 1998 and 2013, both in healthcare settings and other occupational contexts. There is limited published research related to values-based recruitment directly, so the available theoretical context of values is explored alongside an analysis of the impact of value congruence. The implications for the design of selection methods to measure values is explored beyond the scope of the initial literature search. Research suggests some selection methods may be appropriate for values-based recruitment, such as situational judgment tests (SJTs), structured interviews and multiple-mini interviews (MMIs). Personality tests were also identified as having the potential to compliment other methods (e.g. structured interviews), as part of a values-based recruitment agenda. Methods including personal statements, references and unstructured/‘traditional’ interviews were identified as inappropriate for values-based recruitment. Practical implications are discussed in the context of values-based recruitment in the healthcare context. Theoretical implications of our findings imply that prosocial implicit trait policies, which could be measured by selection tools such as SJTs and MMIs, may be linked to individuals’ values via the behaviours individuals consider to be effective in given situations. Further research is required to state this conclusively however, and methods for values-based recruitment represent an exciting and relatively unchartered territory for further research.


Values based recruitment Selection Healthcare Review 



We gratefully acknowledge Health Education England (HEE) for funding an initial literature review on Values-based recruitment. We also acknowledge Vicki Ashworth for her support in the initial scoping of the literature searches.

Conflict of interest

FP, FC and HE from Work Psychology Group provide advice to Health Education England on selection methodology. However Work Psychology Group does not receive royalties for any methodology used.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Patterson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Linda Prescott-Clements
    • 3
  • Lara Zibarras
    • 4
  • Helena Edwards
    • 2
  • Maire Kerrin
    • 2
  • Fran Cousans
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Work Psychology GroupPride Park, DerbyUK
  3. 3.University of NorthumbriaNewcastle upon TyneUK
  4. 4.City University LondonLondonUK

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