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Finding the right cultural fit

Cultural fit should be considered just as important as competency when making recruitment decisions to benefit your long-term business.

Failing to consider cultural fit can lead to plummeting business productivity, poor performance, lost opportunities, poor public relations and high staff turnover. Successful recruitment judges applicants on more than qualifications and experience alone – it extends to assess cultural fit through personality traits and values.

To best assess whether a candidate will fit into your business’s culture you must understand your business’s culture in terms of values and expectations towards teamwork, communication, customer focus, integrity, respect and so forth. Knowing your business’s vision and values will help set a precedent when making hiring decisions.

Culture can be communicated at the beginning of the hiring process through criteria in the job advertisement, for example, working well under pressure may be a necessity. However, the interview often enables the interviewer to best assess the potential cultural fit, as their CV may not accurately reflect the candidate.

When interviewing applicants, use behavioural style questions to gauge cultural attributes. Behavioural questions, such as “Give me some examples of how you resolved conflict at work,” or “Describe a work environment where you had the most success,” are often a good way of ensuring behaviour is congruent with the style used in your business.

An interview is also a good time to communicate your business’s culture and to identify whether the applicant is motivated to match your culture. Explaining the culture of your business helps the applicant to further assess their own suitability, providing them with the opportunity to opt out if their values do not align.

Ideally, employers should equally consider whether the candidate is qualified to do the job and whether there is a cultural fit for the best hire.


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