We’ve received a lot of feedback from our readers on a recently posted blog post about “Why should someone hire for Culture Fit?”. Now, we realized how “hot” the topic actually is, as we saw how many recruiters are also studying it. As Anja ZojÄŤeska, a Human Resources Manager of TalentLyft did. We enjoyed reading her perspective and we are happily sharing it with all of you 🙂

Cultural Fit - The Owiwi Blog

How can you make sure that you’re hiring the best candidates who will become successful employees in your company? To do so, these top candidates have to be a perfect fit not only for the job, but also for your company culture. This is why you need to assess cultural fit along with a job fit. In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about hiring for cultural fit: What is it, why it is so important and how to assess candidates for cultural fit.

What is hiring for cultural fit?

Let’s start by defining what cultural fit means. Simply put, hiring for cultural fit means choosing the best candidate not only for your open job position, but also for your company culture.

Hiring for job fit means selecting the candidate who has the best skills, experience and knowledge for the job you are looking to fill.

Hiring for cultural fit means looking beyond just a job fit. Of course, you want to find a candidate that will excel in their job. But you also need to find a person that will best fit into your company culture. This is where hiring for cultural fit comes in.

Cultural fit is the way in which an employee fits in your company culture. Your company culture is defined by your company values, vision and mission. Company culture is also shaped with your belief system, working language, norms and set of workplace behaviors.

In other words, hiring for cultural fit means hiring candidates that share or will be able to adapt to your company’s core values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. It means hiring not only for skills, but also for the right mindset and attitude.

What cultural fit is not? It is not hiring candidates because you liked them and you can see yourself grabbing a beer with them. Cultural fit has nothing to do with sharing the same lifestyle, interests and hobbies. It is about your company’s values and the expectations you have from your employees.

In the following text we will examine the best ways to assess cultural fit in your candidates. But first, let’s take a look at the benefits of hiring for cultural fit.

Why should you hire for a cultural fit?

Hiring for cultural fit can help you hire the right employee – not only for the job you are looking to fill, but also for your company culture.

By assessing your candidates for cultural fit, you will be able to choose the candidates who care about your company’s mission and like the way you work. New hires who share your company’s values and appreciate your working style will naturally fit in your team much more quickly and easily.

Besides lower ramp up time, cultural fit candidates are also more likely to be successful and stay longer at your company. Research cited in Forbes has found that 48% of new hires fail in the first 18 months because of bad fit.

The interesting thing is that only 11% of new hires fail because they lacked the necessary skills for the job. An overwhelming majority of 89% new employees failed because they were a bad cultural fit!

This is an alarming fact for employers, especially when considering the high cost of turnover. The Harvard Business Review notes that the result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organization between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary!

Cultural fit is important for employees as well. Robert Walters whitepaper reports that 73% of professionals have left a job because of poor cultural fit. On the other hand, employees who fit in a company’s culture are more likely to stay at the company.

But higher improved ramp up time and retention rate are not the only benefits of hiring a candidate who is a good cultural fit. Meta-analysis research revealed that employees who fit well with their organization, coworkers, and supervisors had greater job satisfaction, were more likely to remain with their organization, and showed superior job performance.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that 84% of recruiters think that cultural fit is one of the most important recruitment factors. In a recent survey of 55 large organisations (including major employers such as Philips, IKEA and TomTom), Cubiks Netherlands discovered that nine in ten recruiters have rejected candidates due to their lack of cultural fit.

The question now is: How to assess candidates for a cultural fit? Keep reading to find out! 🙂

How to hire for a cultural fit?

Assessing candidates for cultural fit isn’t a vague concept you can evaluate based on your gut feeling. If you want to effectively assess candidates for cultural fit, you need to develop a structured process. This is the best way to eliminate bias in hiring decisions.

First of all, you need to clearly define your company culture. Different companies uphold different values and have different norms for workplace behaviors. Start form your company’s vision and mission. What do you want to become and how do you plan to do it? How do you work together and treat each other?

Defining and articulating your company’s core values, goals and practices is the foundation at which you should build your hiring practices. Once you have clearly defined your company culture, you should weave it into your hiring process.

Start by presenting your company culture on your career site. Try to provide potential candidates with a glimpse into an everyday life at your office. List your company’s values, feature your employees’ testimonials and present photos of your employees and your workplace.

You should also highlight your company’s values and workplace behaviors in your job advertisements. That way, you’ll encourage candidates who feel like they’re a good fit for your company culture to apply. Discouraging those who don’t fit in will save you valuable time and money.

You company culture also needs to be integrated in your selection process. You can use psychometric tests to find out more about your candidates. You should also ask your candidates standardized, open ended cultural fit interview questions

Finally, make your interviewing process more collaborative and culture oriented. Give your candidates a tour of your office. Introduce them to their potential future colleagues and give them a chance to experience what it is like to work at your company.