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Cultural Fit is vital when hiring – Here’s why

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Cultural Fit is vital when hiring – Here’s why

Skill-Set or Cultural Fit? During the hiring phase this is one of the hardest principles for any manager to adopt. Managers have so much information to process before making a final decision. Going through piles of C.V. ’s, multiple phone calls, first interviews with identified candidates, follow up interviews with the top 3… making that final decision can sometimes be tough.
On top of the time and attention put into the process, managers still have that deep-seated (sometimes unconscious) worry… is the candidate I have chosen the right one? Despite all the preparation, the simple fact is the risk of a bad hire is always a reality. So, when it is time for the final decision, what is more important? Cultural Fit or previous experience?

A Perfect Hire

Obviously, the ideal hire has a perfect blend of both. She has all the required experience and integrates with the greater team seamlessly by the end of the first day. Let’s be honest though, this perfect embodiment of your companies’ vision and your companies daily tasks does not exist!

Why Cultural fit is important

Bringing someone new onto the team comes with great expectations. You want the person to be a valuable employee, with instant loyalty and the commitment to be a long-lasting contributor to the success of the business.
In our view, it’s relatively simple to help employees get better at their jobs. Up skill your new hires via on-boarding, on the job training, how-to documents and guidelines. These can all be used to teach someone how to align with the businesses best practices. What can’t be taught is values like understanding customer priorities, or how to respect others’ opinions and how to put their interests before their own.

Research increasingly shows that identifying individuals who align with your company’s unique values and culture is an essential part of strategic hiring. According to one study, cultural fit, not the time and cost to hire for a role, is the most important factors for recruitment. 90% of recruiters have reported rejecting applicants who would not align with the company culture.

Who you are as a company

Understanding the values and beliefs of your company is vital before you start the recruitment process. Once you know who you are and what you stand for, then its easy to determine if a candidate will align with and enhance your business.

During the interview, be sure to ask the right questions. Choose questions that are open-ended and talk to the qualities that your company most values:

  1. What do you value most at work?
  2. What do you like best about working with a team?
  3. What is the worst part of working with a team?
  4. Can you recall the last time you helped a colleague or added value to a customers experience?

Remember, your new hire wants to fit in just as much as you need him to integrate! Cultural Fit is a mutually desired goal, so make sure the candidate understands what the companies values are.

Trust yourself and lead by example

Most importantly, trust yourself! As the hiring manager, you spend your time with the existing team, you understand what makes them tick, where their weaknesses are, how they respond to the pressures of the job. Trust yourself to know if the candidate sitting across from you will fit in or not.

In our experience, the worst thing you can do is ignore your “gut”… trust yourself and you can be confident that the new recruit will work within the team.

Lastly, in closing, the process does not end once the candidate starts work. As a leader within your organisation it is your responsibility to ensure she acclimatises. Spend some time with the greater team and the new hire. Get to know her, let her get to know you.

Your team will always follow your lead, so if you make the effort to draw out the excellence from your new recruit, the team will do it too.

Brendan Levin

brendan@brendanlevin.com

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