How to Determine a Candidate’s Cultural Fit

Every company’s culture is different and so is every employee. Finding employees who fit within your organization’s values, culture and ‘personality’ is a task to say the least. During the interview process, a candidate can prove that they possess all of the hard skills you might be looking for but how can you ensure they are a cultural fit? Even if they are your dream candidate with the exact requirements needed, hiring an employee who does not fit will cost you. According to a 2013 Gallup Poll of 150K workers found that 70%  hated their jobs or felt disengaged. One of the main reasons noted was “poor cultural fit.”

15 years ago cultural fit was not a topic of discussion, it was about candidates molding themselves to fit an established set of values. But with the arrival of companies like Zappos where CEO Tony Hseih is much more concerned with employees fitting into the corporate setting than the hard skills listed on their resume, cultural fit has come to the forefront. Teams such as marketing and IT have become more collaborative and employees need to relate to one another, communicate and work well with each other.

Companies not considering cultural fit may find their employees are quitting or getting fired within a few months. Here are 5 tips to help you assess a candidate’s potential fit with your company.

Identify your culture
What are your organization’s values? How would you describe the culture in a few sentences? Know what type of people have been successful in the role you’re hiring and what type of people have not. This will allow you to assess the candidate’s potential fit rather than playing a guessing game.

Ask the right questions
Mix in questions during the interview process that give you a glimpse into whether or not the candidate will fit. Questions like:

    • Describe your ideal work environment
    • Tell me about your preferred work style
    • How would co-workers describe your work style?
    • What characteristics make the best boss/manager?
    • Describe a work environment in which you’d be unhappy

Do your research
This can be as simple as conducting a Google search for the candidate. Do inappropriate pictures, posts or tweets come up? With the ride of social networks, this can be a good way to see how the candidate behaves outside of a professional environment. If they don’t see a problem portraying themselves poorly on the internet they may do the same for your company’s image.

Involve your employees
Bring your current employees, who are successful within the company’s culture, into the interview process. Getting their take on the candidate even if it’s a simple 20 minute conversation.  Your employee’s opinion can be an invaluable source of knowledge.

Get the facts
If this role is a pivotal hire for your company such as a senior management role, administer a personality test during the hiring process. Personality tests aren’t an 100% tell-all but they can be a good indicator of how the candidate operates and interacts with people and their environment.

Ready to start creating great connections with the right fit for your team? Give us a call today, we can help!

Visit The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Digital Talent page for more information about how to choose the best candidates!

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