First, let’s identify “cultural fit.” Every organization has a set of operational values, standards, and norms. Mainly, it’s the group’s behavior as a whole that includes structure, values, processes, or, to put it simply, how the team gets stuff done.
Perhaps you’ve heard that many people are hired based on skill and fired based on fit. This means the candidate looked great on paper with all of the skills needed to do a job but didn’t work well once they got the job.
Not only is there an organizational culture, but there are sub-cultures too. Each geographical location, department, or team can have an individual culture. A team within a large educational organization was servicing military students. Although the overarching company culture was innovative, open, and flexible, the sub-culture of this team was also structured, boisterous, valued tradition, and blended beautifully into the organizational culture. In other words, they found a way to make their way of getting things done align with how the whole organization did things.
As an HR professional or as “just the person charged with recruiting,” how can you determine if a candidate is a cultural fit for the organization? Here are a few tips:
Know the company’s culture and values, and make a point of getting to know the sub-cultures.
Identify similar traits among other team members or peers.
Include the hiring manager for the position you’re recruiting to help verbalize how the team successfully gets work done.
Determine if the candidate understands the overarching company culture.
Use behavioral interview questions to identify the work environment where the candidate feels they are the most productive and happy, preferred management style, learning style, and career values/goals.
If the organization is flexible and thrives in change, you don’t want to hire a candidate that prefers structure and is adverse to change. Equally, if you have a company culture that promotes employee empowerment and Intrapreneurship, then a leader with a micro-management style may not fit well.
The videos candidates provide in their Pointe Profile® can give insight into who they are, how they act, their preferences, and how they might fit (or not) into the organization’s culture. While there’s no surefire way to determine if a candidate is perfect, having access to as much content and video in the candidates’ profile can save time and money while effectively screening candidates for skill and fit.
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