Hiring for Cultural Fit: Do You Think You Can Change How People Really Are?

January 23, 20174:19 pm
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Have you ever faced a case involving an excellent employee who cannot necessarily be the best fit for your company culture? Why should cultural fit become your next recruitment strategy? Is it true that you should choose cultural fit over individual proficiencies in itself, when deciding on the next hire?

Screening for employee cultural fit is an important part of the whole hiring process. As we know, everyone has different characters, attitudes, personalities, and value system. Candidate A might be an extrovert who loves socialising and mingling in the crowd. On the other hand, candidate B might be an introvert who prefers working alone in a quieter working environment.

With these opposite personality traits in two different individuals, how do you decide the perfect hire most suited to fit with your company culture?

Differences are not mere characteristics that distinguish one from another. In fact, understanding a candidate’s individual personality has its impact felt on employee productivity, motivation, efficiency, satisfaction and performance in the workplace.

When employees share the same values and attitudes as expected by the company, they tend to feel more happy and committed to their job. This will not only increase employee engagement, but culturally-fit workers showcase superior performance and bring higher business gains.

See: How to Be More Organised and Confident in Your New Job Role in 2017?

So, does it mean that cultural fit is everything?

While there is no exact answer to such a question, you need to consider the fact that ‘people cannot change their personalities overnight.’ Do you think you can change how people really are? Change is not an event, it takes time –and sometimes, a lot of it.

Rather than risking your business and hiring someone who does not meet the company culture, it will be better to screen candidates based on cultural fit as well, during interview rounds. If possible, only hire those who showcase both high cultural fit and high competence. Striking a balance is the best when it comes to hiring for cultural fit.

However if you have to choose only one, then choosing cultural fit over competence will be the best option. The logic here is simple. You can always conduct training and coaching sessions for improving on competencies, however you cannot simply force change upon someone’s personality.

Employee with strong alignment with your company culture will be more motivated to perform, achieve growth and build on their skills. Those with higher skillsets but fail to fit within the company culture, would more likely to leave the organisation within a short time frame.

How should you implement hiring for cultural fit?

To get the best people in the talent pools, first of all you need to understand the core value system of your company culture.  Evaluate whether the existing culture has been built upon company’s vision and values.

When assessing a candidate based on his background, reactions and personality types, you need to consider their suitability as regards job and the company culture. There are several questions you would need to ask, such as, do the applicants have required qualities for the job? Do they have enough experience? Do they share similar values as according to the company vision? Would they be able to prove their best in your company’s culture of working?

During the interview rounds, you should state clearly what is expected and the company’s core values, such that the potential candidates do have a faint idea of what it will be like to join the team be associated with the company brand and work in harmony.

You might need behaviour-based interviews to get better assess candidate’s behavioral mechanisms in dealing with particular situations, case scenarios at work. This method will help hiring managers to determine and decide, if these candidates would have issues working with the company and integrating with the culture in future.

Read also: Why Does Mobile Recruitment Fail?