We’ve all heard the phrase “hiring for cultural fit”, but what exactly does it mean? Most people place experience and education at the top of their wish list when it comes to job candidates. So, is cultural fit really that important? The answer is yes. Cultural fit is what keeps your team working together as a cohesive unit. And it can also mean the difference between a new employee who will leave after six months versus someone who wants to build a career. Here are five questions to ask when evaluating for cultural fit.
Does the candidate understand your industry?
When it comes to cultural fit in the workplace, one of the biggest factors is the job industry itself. For example, working in the IT department of an investment banking company could be the perfect fit for someone who enjoys high pressure, fast-paced projects. But it will be a vastly different experience from doing IT work at a college or university. If your candidate comes from a different industry, make sure you review some of those differences with her so you both know what to expect.
Has the candidate worked for a similar sized company before?
An employee who has worked for a huge company will be used to the vast organizational structure and the layers of management hierarchy. But people who have worked at small companies or startups will be used to grabbing coffee with the CEO and then jumping straight into a new project. Company size and team size really do matter when it comes to taking on a new job.
Will the new employee follow your company’s vision?
Your company has a culture all its own. That culture is tied to the motto, vision, or belief structure that sets your company apart. For example, maybe your company thrives on collaboration and encourages everyone to share knowledge and to build each other up. Or maybe your company encourages all employees to participate in volunteer activities and philanthropic events. Whatever your company’s culture, will the candidate thrive in it or will they struggle to survive in it?
Will the candidate ‘get’ you?
You have a management style all your own. You’ve probably fine-tuned it from years of working with your team and your fellow managers. How will a new employee mesh with your style? Perhaps you’re the type of manager who wants employees to check in with you before making major decisions. Or maybe you prefer team members to manage themselves and only come to you for critical issues. Ask the job candidate about his work style, and how he got along with previous managers. This will help you both when it comes to setting expectations.
Are you hiring for cultural fit or for sameness?
Be careful not to confuse cultural fit with hiring someone who looks, acts or talks just like you. For example, just because your team likes to go out on Fridays to share drinks and recap the week doesn’t mean you should turn down a candidate who doesn’t drink or who maybe has family commitments and won’t be able to join you. And if your team is made up of young men who all graduated from the same local technical school, don’t discount candidates who are female, older, or have a different college background. Hiring for cultural fit AND for diversity is possible as long as you keep both in mind.
Contact us to learn more about how to screen for cultural fit in your next candidate interview for jobs in Hawaii. Our expert recruiters are have seen it all and asked it all, and we know just what to look for in your next candidate.