When searching for a new member to join your team, determining cultural fit is one of the most important aspects of hiring, no matter the role level. In addition to considering candidates based on their experience and qualifications, finding an applicant who expresses and exhibits your company’s characteristics, values, and culture is essential to the success of any company.
Finding employees who fit among your company’s culture can be a daunting task. Every company’s culture is different and so is every employee who makes up your organization. Not only do you want to hire candidates who can perform their role successfully, but you also want someone whose behavior and beliefs coincide with your company culture as well.
Whether you’re considering hiring for cultural fit or have been doing it for a while, here are five ways to determine if your candidates are the right fit for your team.
1. Finding the Right “Fit”
Before we get into it, let’s define what “cultural fit” is. Cultural fit is an individual’s attitudes, values, and beliefs being in line with the core values and culture of an organization.
There is no denying assessing an individual’s cultural fit is a crucial element before hiring someone on board. Today, hiring for cultural fit is a rapid trend popular among many HR professionals today. However, this doesn’t mean hiring managers should hire someone who’s like them or the rest of the team in every way. It means discovering candidates who possess a different mindset and mentality which allows your company to open itself up to a range of diverse individuals who can elevate the greater good of your business.
2. Identify Your Company Culture
Before you can start hiring for cultural fit, it’s vital you have created the right environment for your employees, it should be made up of the positive values, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of your company. After all, your culture represents every life experience each employee has brought to your organization. According to a study, building an employer brand and company culture helps companies hire the right people (55%), retain a greater number of qualified candidates (49%), increase employee referrals (41%), and have more diverse candidates (32%). There’s no right way to identify your company culture. You can obtain a picture of your current culture in several ways:
- Reference back to your company’s values. Your values are the aspirations of your company. These elements directly impact how your company operates and how your employees function throughout the workplace. If you aren’t sure where to look, start by exploring your organization’s mission and vision statements, objectives, goals, business practices, and standards. But don’t stop there. Continue to look at the enacted values your employees’ show. Do this by observing the actions of your employees, the standards the company holds itself to, and the goals the company is working towards to determine if they’re aligned with the company’s overall values.
- Conduct a survey. Distribute culture surveys among your employees to help you assess the current culture climate while recognizing what you need to do more of, less of, stop, or start.
- Observe the culture in action. Taking time to evaluate your culture right in the midst of it can provide you more insight into your employees and organization. Look at how your employees interact throughout the workplace from an outside perspective. Ask yourself:
- How does everyone interact with each other?
- Are there conflicts? If so, how are they resolved?
- How do employees of different levels interact?
- Evaluate observable artifacts. Take a walk around your company and observe your wall decor, common areas, and furniture arrangements. Is it interactive or sterile? Examining how your employees dress is also a key indicator of your culture. Is the dress code more relaxed or business professional. Remember, anything associated with your organization can help identify your company culture.
3. Utilize Psychometric Assessments
Assessing cultural fit doesn’t have to be a complex process. Incorporating assessments such as psychometric assessments aid hiring teams and HR managers in measuring a candidate’s culture fit before they set foot in the workplace.
But, how? By incorporating assessments into your recruitment process with various culture-related elements.
Psychometric assessments provide a fair advantage for candidates because of their ability to provide objective metrics about each candidates’ traits, behaviors, and skills, instead of relying on personal judgments which are susceptible to bias. The knowledge employers can gain from assessments helps provide transparency for potential applicants. You’ll save time, money, and energy by hiring the right people so the focus can be on productivity.
4. Ask the Right Questions
The interview process is an excellent time for employers to ask candidates questions which relate to their personality. Mixing in questions during the interview process can give HR managers a glimpse into whether or not the candidate will fit. Try and ask candidates specific questions about themselves:
- What is your most positive personality trait, and why?
- What’s your worst personality trait, and why?
- What values are most important to you as a person?
- If given any role, what job would appeal to you the most?
Then move into culture-specific questions such as:
- Describe your ideal work environment.
- What is your preferred work style?
- How would past co-workers describe your work style?
- What characteristics make you right for the role?
- Describe a work environment you’d be unhappy in.
- What management style motivates you to do your best work?
Rather than asking candidates to repeat your values or ask them what their favorite ice cream flavor is, it’s essential to dig deeper and ask questions to help HR managers understand their motivations and drive to examine how each applicant will interact with existing employees and the company culture.
5. Let Applicants Take Charge
Now that you’ve had the chance as the employer to ask candidates questions based on their personality switch it up and have candidates ask you questions. This will allow hiring teams and HR managers to see how they communicate without a guided prompt. Not only is this a great opportunity to stray away from the typical interview process, but a chance to spotlight each applicant’s personality.
Your company culture plays a critical component through all aspects of your organization from providing your employees’ direction to being the glue binding everything together. Using these strategies to hire someone for culture fit ensures you’re creating happier, productive, cohesive, and diverse teams. Employees who embrace your company’s culture and values are great brand ambassadors and boost morale and teamwork in the workplace.
This article was originally published on the Good&Co Blog.
Driven by the goal to help the American workplace become happier, healthier and more efficient for both employees and employers, Samar Birwadker cooked up the concept for Good&Co in 2012. As CEO, he has led diverse teams of technologists, designers, and researchers to drive breakthrough product innovation – a role that aligns perfectly with his Good&Co Persona: an innovative blend of the Maverick, Visionary, and Go-Getter. He is responsible for scaling the company after it was acquired by Axel Springer GmBH in 2016.