There are many critical aspects to consider when evaluating whether the candidate is the right fit for your organisation. You need to assess their relevant work experience, career history, and a certain degree of skills and competencies. But in the past few years, another criterion has become vital: Cultural Fit.
What is Cultural Fit and Why Does It Matter?
Cultural fit is a concept where employees connect with the organisational culture. This culture stems from the organisation’s values, vision, mission, expectations and work atmosphere. When employees are in alignment with corporate culture, they create social cohesion, and a high level of social cohesion builds strength in the organisation.
According to this report by Entrepreneur, highly engaged employees are likely to have 28% increase in earnings growth, while employees with a low level of engagement can result in a 33% decrease in operating income.
Another study by Columbia University reveals the correlation between company culture and employee retention. The job turnover rate at an organisation with a distinct company culture is a mere 13.9%, whereas the organisations with poor company cultures suffer 48.4% of job turnover.
However, a person’s values or beliefs are not immediately apparent – so how do you screen for cultural fit?
4 Ways to Successfully Screen Candidates for Cultural Fit
Here are four essential steps that you can take to increase the chance of attracting candidates with a good cultural fit for your organisation:
1. Define your organisational culture and share it
No matter how well you think you know your organisation, it’s never a bad idea to refresh yourself and to identify how top-performers embody corporate culture. The core of the corporate culture starts with your company’s mission. List up the essential values and principles that support this central mission and create a guideline for determining whether candidates are a cultural fit to your organisation. Once you set up the guidance, make your organisation’s mission and value statement visible in your job postings and website, so they are clear to job seekers.
As an example, we display our mission and value statements at the top of About Us section of our website. In this way, any site visitors can easily recognise who we are and what we are trying to achieve as an organisation.
2. Screen before you interview
Reference checking is not only for lie detection on the resume. It is also a huge opportunity to learn about the candidate’s personality. Taking the time to call or email the referees may seem like a hassle, but the comments from previous coworker or employer can really shed light on a candidate. LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations are also good resources of information about the candidate which you cannot obtain during the interview. Always bear in mind that candidates will always get recommendations, and give reference check details, from those that they feel are more likely to say positive things.
3. Ask the right questions
Asking technical skills and past accomplishments is often easy, but how to obtain more intangible elements such as their values or beliefs? Try using open-ended questions surrounding the qualities your organization most values…For instance, ask about the atmosphere of previous offices. Let them highlight what they liked and what they would have changed. You can reflect on their answers and consider what habits they may have picked up and what values they mentioned.
4. Assess a candidate’s interaction with other employees
Have candidates meet their potential teammates as part of the interview process to see how the team interact. They are the people who will be working alongside your new hire, so their impressions and thoughts about the candidates are valuable. It is also a good idea to ask employees to interview the candidate so you can observe how they interact with potential team members.
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If you’d like to discuss your current hiring processes, we are always happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the TalentVine team, or any of our 300 specialist recruitment agencies.