When you hire a new team member, you want them to be a long-lasting, valuable employee within your company. If they need the resources and tools to get better at their jobs, you can always provide them. But you can't teach someone to align with your cultural values. You want team members who:
- Value people
- Understand your clients' priorities
- Work well together
- Look out for others' best interests before their own
If this sounds like your company’s priorities, there are several ways to build cultural fit into your recruiting and hiring processes.
What does 'culture' mean to you?
Your corporate culture begins with your company's mission. Your core values and principles as a company stem from your company's mission.
What values and beliefs trace back to your company’s mission? Answering that question presents the guidelines for deciding whether a candidate is a cultural fit, rather than just relying on “gut feeling.”
Once you’ve established these guidelines, don’t just look for those shared values during interviews. Use digital tools to make your organisation's mission statement, values and goals clear to job seekers. If your job openings are always paired with a clear sense of what makes your culture unique, you’ll attract candidates who are already excited about your mission.
Ask The Right Questions
The interview is the most important way to determine whether a candidate fits. Listing past accomplishments and skill are usually simple for candidates, but how do you get at the more intangible elements of an applicant’s personality and values?
Ask open-ended questions that revolve around the qualities your organisation values the most, such as:
• What do you value most at work?
• What do you like most about working on a team?
• Can you give an example of when you went out of your way to help a coworker or create a positive experience for a customer?
Source: The Balance Careers
Remember that interviews are two-way streets. Candidates should show their capabilities and values, but you should also clearly define the overall mission of your company and culture. Focus on your core values, how your company recognises achievement or certain expectations.
Make Your Interview Process Human And Collaborative
To create an interview process that focuses on cultural fit, think beyond the traditional. Interviews don’t need to always take place across a table in a conference room. If you want to get to know candidates as people, take them out to chat over a more informal setting, such as lunch.
Let candidates meet their prospective teams and potential teammates as part of the interview process to see how the team gels before you officially welcome new members into the family. These are the people they’ll be seeing and collaborating with daily, so you want to assure everyone prioritises respect and there’s a mutual positive feeling among team members.
Remember What Culture Fit Is Not
Ultimately, it’s crucial to remember where diversity fits into all this. Hiring for culture fit comes down to ensure that employees treat coworkers with the respect that your company values. What it doesn’t mean is overlooking different cultures and lifestyles, or dismissing personal values you don’t agree with.
An older mother of three might not be what you think is the “culture” of young, single people willing to work late. But she likely brings some of the best historical knowledge of where the industry has been or a better sense of what clients actually want. Managers should regularly ask HR to review culture fit-based decisions to ensure you're not accidentally building a team of people who all think, look and act the exact same way.
You want your people to be united by your company’s shared mission, but cognitive diversity and different backgrounds push your team to actually achieve it. Tackle problems in new ways, thinking outside the box and ultimately bringing your culture to life.
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