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Hiring for cultural fit: 3 tips for success

The concept of cultural fit as a critical element in the hiring process has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. While education, skills, and professional experience for many employers still top the list when hiring, cultural fit is rapidly becoming a top selection criterion. One recent survey from Cubiks found that more than 80% of employers worldwide feel that cultural fit is important when hiring new talent. Employers around the globe start to realise that a strong cultural fit is as important or even more important as having the right skills and experiences. Logical if you realize that company culture influences the performance of your employees and thus the overall success of your company.

But how does a good cultural fit exactly translate into your company’s success? A strong cultural fit is associated with many benefits, including productivity, better performance and lower staff turnover. When interviewing potential employees, one of the main things to look for, is whether there is a match on company culture. The realization that many organizations have is that performance is contextual and that culture as well as team provide that context. In other words, someone could thrive in one organization and not success in the other. Cultural fit therefore is an indicator of performance and has a direct impact on staff turnover or bad hires. How can you ensure that your new hire will fit with the existing company culture? Here are 3 tips to help you find out if a candidate is a good match:

#1. Write job ads with culture in mind

First of all, make sure you write job ads with your company’s culture in mind. Studies have shown that after salary, the company’s culture is the largest factor to influence a job seeker’s attractiveness to a job description and whether they would take the job or not. If you want to attract candidates who will fit your culture, you need to let them know what that culture is in your company. Give insights in all facets that are important to your company and employees. Think of aspects like company values and believes, work practices and team dynamics. The more information you provide, the more effective you communicate with candidates. This will not only attract candidates who can do the job, but also candidates who can actually identify themselves with your company. More importantly culture is displayed on more than just your career pages. Utilize Glassdoor or social media such as Facebook to provide a glimpse behind the scenes.

#2. Ask the right questions

Finding the right candidate, means asking the right questions. Asking questions like ‘why do you want this job’ and ‘why should we hire you’ are not necessarily bad questions, but you need to make it more specific in order to find out if the candidate is a good fit for your company culture. Also, these kinds of questions are pretty standard and will only give you canned responses. Specifying your questions enables you to get more concrete insights into a candidate, making it easier to identify if a candidate is a good fit or not. If teamwork is really important in your company, you can ask questions like ‘what would your previous colleagues say about why they loved working with you?’ and ‘what is teamwork for you?’. Asking these kind of questions, you want to hear an answer that involves working well with others. If it turns out they like to work alone and independently, they might not be a good fit for your company. Moreover, ask them what they liked and disliked about their previous jobs. If they mention to dislike certain things that are important factors in your company, you would know they won’t be a good fit. At wireless hifi company SONOS one of the interview questions in a video interview is: “Who is your favorite band or artist?”. There is no right or wrong answer, but allows SONOS to see if someone is passionate about music. They will even play the song for you when you are invited for an on-site interview.

#3. Use video in your recruitment process

As recruiters want to make faster hiring decisions, it is really time consuming to invite multiple candidates to an on-site interview and hardly feasible. Selecting a few of them based on resume and cover letter, might lead to miss out that one candidate who is a great cultural fit for your company. There is no way to determine on paper if someone is a good cultural match. There is however another way to speed up the recruitment process and narrow down the number of candidates who potentially are a bad fit and at the same time maintain the quality of hire. If you would like to make sure to interview all candidates to make the right decision, you can include video interviews in your recruitment process. The difference with an on-site interview, is that with video interviews you can simply invite multiple candidates at the same time and review their answers at your convenience. It is important to discover a good fit earlier in the process because you will have a better insight of the candidates’ personality before inviting them to an on-site interview. Why wait until you meet all candidates in your office, if you can meet them at once and at the same time accelerate your recruitment process? With video interviews, you can screen candidates faster and discover a good fit in no time.

With more and more companies acknowledging the importance of a good cultural fit, having a hiring process that allows employers to effectively assess this is critically important. Showing job seekers what your culture is, and asking them the right questions to assess a candidate’s fit, can help to make a better informed hiring decision. Why would you waste your time by inviting multiple candidates to your office for a first-round interview if you can invite them all at once? Just add video in your recruitment process, and you will be able to identify the candidate with the right mix of both skills, experience and cultural fit in no time. Happy Hiring!


Infographic | Why Video Recruitment Works | Download