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How To Hire For Cultural Fit

When it comes to hiring, three of the biggest factors on choosing the right candidate are skills, qualifications and experience. However, one thing that can get overlooked sometimes is cultural fit.

But what exactly is cultural fit? A good definition would be the likelihood of your chosen candidate being able to adapt and thrive in your company’s environment. That, and being able to adapt to the attitudes and behaviours that make up your organisation.

Attitude is the key element here. While a particular candidate may show excellent skills, top qualifications and years of experience on their CV and during the interview, their attitude and personality may not come across as one that would adapt well within your company’s culture.

For example, if your business encourages an open plan office, team projects and a social environment, a candidate who is introverted or wary of working with others may struggle to fit in, regardless of their skills and how well they can do their job.

It’s no good to spend a ridiculous amount of time and resources on hiring someone who’ll only end up leaving the job in a couple of months. In fact, around 10-15% of new hires leave within six months of starting due to a poor fit between them and the company culture. As a result, employers are left to find someone to fill the vacancy once again.

So, how can this be avoided exactly? Here are a few solutions on how to hire for cultural fit.

1) Personality Test

Giving candidates a personality test may help you identify which candidates would fit your company’s culture the most. Personality tests are great for indentifying individuals who may thrive in a certain role or environment. That, and if they are progressed to the interview stage, it’ll give you more insight into their general attitude and abilities.

However, it’s important to not purely rely on personality tests when it comes to your hiring process. The main reasons is that the test could potentially exclude qualified candiates and get flawed results. For example, a candidate may respond to quiz questions in what they think the employer wants to hear rather than their actual personality, which may differ far from what they answered on the test.

2) Ask the right questions

When it comes to interviewing, it’s pretty easy to tick off past accomplishments, experience and skills. However, what sort of questions should you ask to get a deeper understanding of a candidate’s personality?

Here’s a few questions to consider asking

What do you like most about working on a team?

Can you give an example of when you successfully worked within a team to deliver a project or help a client?

What motivates you?

What do you value most at work?

3) Remember the balance between cultural fit and discrimination

While hiring for cultural fit is important, it’s also crucial to remember this doesn’t fall into discrimination. Cultural fit means you ensure any potential employees respect their colleagues and your company values. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them over different cultures and lifestyles, or personal values you may not agree with.

Again, the key here is personality and whether the candidate can adapt well in your company’s environment, and how they work with others whether in their current position or in past experience.

Cultural fit is not only important to the employer, but also the candidate looking for the right position. In fact, a large 95% of jobseekers say they search for information about the company and the people who work there. A recent publication showed that even wages/salaries offered are not as important as the work environment potential employees may find themselves in.

In that respect, you should ensure your work environment is one that is friendly, positive and welcoming to any new employees who join your company.