How do you determine a candidate’s cultural fit?
Even if they’ve shown that they’re qualified for the job position, what are the best practices to assess whether or not they’re a good fit for the company culture?
The general rule of thumb is to take an objective approach.
When you make a hiring decision based on both their skills and cultural fit using data, it comes with a long-term competitive advantage.
So in this guide, we’ll be going over the 6 best practices to apply in your recruitment process to gather the best candidates for the company culture.
The meaning of a cultural fit
When a candidate is a cultural fit, it means that they align with the company values and beliefs.
In other words, their mindset, personality and attitude are a good match for your corporate working environment. Being able to work under pressure and taking the lead are qualities that not all candidates are capable of.
If you take the cultural value of a candidate into account before making a hiring decision, you’re accounting for the team morale and productivity aspect.
More importantly, it’s a lot less expensive to retain existing employees than it is to go out there and recruit a new one.
According to Gallup, replacing a single employee could cost up to 2x their annual salary.
That’s another reason why the cultural value of candidates can be an influential factor.
Not only are you taking into consideration the team chemistry. But you’re also considering the costs and long-term factors.
How to determine a candidate’s cultural fit: the best practices
We’ve listed 6 best practices you can use to identify and recruit candidates that are a strong cultural fit for your organization. If you’re looking to work with technical talent over the long run, it’s recommended to add their personality and approach into the equation.
1. Define your brand values
Before setting out to find the best talent, you should know what your values are in full transparency.
Otherwise, you won’t know what traits and qualities to look out for in each applicant. Without knowing what your ideal group of talent looks like, there’s a chance that you’ll miss out on seeing their potential.
So, it’s important to reaffirm your mission and beliefs. Understand your framework and what you stand for. This way, you’ll also know how you want your team to approach certain things too.
2. Communicate those values to your audience
Now that you’ve defined your brand values, the next step is to make them clear to your audience. This means not only to your prospective candidates. But, also to your existing team members and employees.
As a result, you’re keeping everyone updated with how you want them to operate.
To communicate this effectively, it’s good practice to include it directly in your marketing and recruiting campaigns. That includes places such as:
- Your website’s about page
- LinkedIn page
- Job descriptions
- Online content
Over time, it develops employer branding and helps you build a reputation.
3. Prepare cultural fit interview questions
Interviews are valuable for understanding the way your candidates think and how they would react in different situations.
For instance, watch out for their tone of voice and how they respond to your questions. Do they have good communication skills? Can they speak firmly and hold eye contact?
Even when you’re hiring at scale as a growing company, it’s effective to prepare questions that assess a candidate’s cultural fit.
If they’ve done the company research, they’ll adapt their perspective to how you would want your ideal candidates to approach their work. While it’s key to have the right questions prepared beforehand, it’s equally important to watch out for how they answer.
It’s not just about what they say, but how they say it too.
4. Create content that resonates with your ideal candidates
Creating content that resonates with your ideal group of talent is more likely to attract them to what your organization has to offer.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s good practice to showcase your cultural values when posting marketing content and promoting a job vacancy. So, when people come across your brand or website, they’ll have an idea of what you’re about because of the way you’ve portrayed yourself.
This is especially effective when you’re trying to reach wider audiences since there’s a stronger likelihood that you’ll attract those with qualities that complement your workflow.
5. Focus on personality and attitude
A person’s mindset and learning mentality are significant factors to career success. The only question is how to assess this effectively in your recruitment process.
In each interaction or task given to a candidate, observe their process and demeanor when responding to the situation. Or, see how they work as a team through candidate assessments or on a trial project. This gives insight into how well they would get on in your work environment.
6. Use Culture Assessments
With the use of modern technology, there is now a range of pre-employment screening tools and cultural assessments you can use to enhance the hiring process.
This is an accurate way to determine whether or not the candidate is a fit for both your company and the job position.
Plus, when using data to hire after assessing their on-the-job skills and performance, you remove unconscious bias. It’s more reliable than if you were to just read their resume without verifying any of the details that they’ve mentioned.
The drawbacks of hiring for cultural fit
One major drawback with cultural hiring is the possibility of excluding exceptional talent since you’re only recruiting those that share the same values.
While it’s good to employ someone with both the skills and approach that aligns with your work culture, you’re at risk of making biased hiring decisions. That’s another reason why it’s important to collect data. This way, you eliminate bias and stick to the numbers and the facts.
An objective approach is the most effective if you’re looking to hire only the best of the best.
That’s where technical assessment platforms like Testlify come in.
Before making a decision, they’ll help you get all the information you need to make a fully informed decision without unconscious bias being included in the equation.
Build a thriving work environment
Finding self-driven candidates with a personality that aligns with your mission and brand values is a common struggle.
They’re valuable assets for a reason. With a team built on the foundation of a growth mindset and positive attitude, you’ll create a fruitful work environment where everyone learns and grows from one another.
On the flip side, it requires an innovative approach otherwise you’re prone to biased hiring.