How to Know if a Candidate is a Good Culture Fit?

26 June 2020 08:00:00 BST
5 mins read

During the hiring process, it’s tempting for any decision maker to focus on the candidate with the most impressive CV, rather than put any decisive weight on the fit between the candidate and the company’s culture. However, if more weight is given to finding a candidate that is a good culture fit the benefits are far greater.

What Is Employee Culture in the Workplace?

Company culture is a culmination of your company's personality and the physical environment in which your employees work. Company culture is shared from management to entry level employees. Building a positive company culture attracts top talent, drives and maintains engagement, impacts happiness both at work and in personal life. Company culture ultimately affects productivity and performance, the average person spends a third of their life at work, therefore, good company culture and employee wellbeing should be a top priority in every workplace.

Define what your company’s culture is, be authentic about it and don’t leave it to chance. To know if a candidate is a good culture fit, you need to be really clear on what your company’s culture is as well as your aligned beliefs as an organisation. By sharing this with your candidates they are allowed the opportunity to reflect on whether the company’s values align with theirs. Studies show that candidates are more likely to pass up a job opportunity if they feel the culture is a bad fit and job seekers who leave roles within the first 90 days cite a bad culture fit as the main reasoning behind their decision to seek a new opportunity. 15 years ago the question of whether a candidate was a good culture fit was not a topic of discussion, candidates were simply expected to mould to the culture of the company. When the culture fit isn’t made a priority, companies often find their employees moving on in just a few short months, to somewhere that has a culture more akin to their expectations.

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How Do You Determine If a Candidate Is a Good Culture Fit?

A job interview gives an employer the opportunity to assess how well a candidate will take on the role through exploring their skills and previous experience. A good interview will explore more than what is written on a CV, taking into account the culture fit. Studies show that employees who share values with the company they work for perform better and stay with the company for longer. The candidate who initially emerges as the ‘best’ one may not be the best culture fit.

Assessing how candidates have approached work in the past can give an indication of their work style. Understanding how they might interact with their team members and managers is extremely important as most companies now have very collaborative work environments and it’s rare to have an autonomous role. 

Some questions to take into consideration are:

  1. Do you require independence or good team work from the candidate? 
  2. What level of flexibility do you offer to your employees?
  3. Do your requirements match their expectations?

Alongside questions regarding work approach, asking questions that have answers which don’t matter can also be a good way to assess culture fit. Seeing how the candidate reacts to unexpected challenges can help determine how comfortable they feel and whether they may be the right one for the role.

Asking about previous managers and style of management can give an insight into how the candidate responds to management strategies. This information can be taken into consideration in conjunction with the management style that exists in your company to help determine how the candidate may fit into your organisational structure.

Once you have determined that the candidate possesses the skills required for the role, getting other members of the team involved in the hiring process can be beneficial for ensuring that the candidate is a good culture fit. Allowing team members to meet the candidate throughout the hiring process gives the opportunity to see how the candidate interacts with your current employees. Don’t disregard your employees opinions, they are already part of, and make up your existing company culture.

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Why Is a Good Culture Fit So Important?

Hiring employees that aren’t a good culture fit can lead to dissatisfaction for both parties, it can lead to a poor quality of work and a negative outlook, which can spread rapidly throughout the office. When employees are a good culture fit there are a lot of benefits:

1. Staff Retention 

Staff retention rates are affected by a whole array of elements however hiring employees who are a good culture fit is going to play a huge part in them. Employees who mesh well with the company's culture lead to more job satisfaction and they will likely remain part of the team for longer.

2. Employee Engagement 

When employees are a good culture fit they are likely to work harder, be more productive and go above and beyond for the company. Bad habits such as negativity and a poor work ethic can be contagious. A positive level of employee engagement enhances overall wellbeing.

3. Community

A good culture fit will result in team members who share common values, all differences are easier to resolve when employees share common core values and beliefs. A positive workplace environment with a strong company culture can result in a friendly workplace where employees feel part of a community. Happier, fulfilled employees benefit everyone involved.

4. Communication 

In all walks of life, those with shared values experience easier communication. A workplace with open communication channels will be more efficient with a higher rate of productivity and better morale. Openness and understanding throughout the management chain can lead to expectations being met and a more positive workplace culture.

Hiring based on culture and value is important for the candidate and for the company. Hiring candidates who are a good culture fit will allow them to flourish into the role and thrive. If you’re looking for more ways to create a positive workplace culture book a demo today!

Written by Stephanie Butter

All-round happy lady who enjoys writing, cooking, jewellery making and yoga, but not at the same time. In a former life travelled full-time, but now back home in England enjoying the beauty it has to offer.

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