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Hiring for Culture Fit & Job Fit

It’s not one-size fits all

Raise your hand if you’ve had a bad hire before… A sour apple who seemed to be a negative influence on the rest of the team. Maybe they were “good at their job” from a skills perspective, but their attitude was toxic. This my friends is a problem with the standard hiring process, which primarily highlights a person’s set of skills that are detailed on a piece of paper (a.k.a resume). And while this may deliver you a productive robot, it will not always deliver you a successful team member. We recommend also placing a high value on, well, values.

These values can be interpreted as a company’s culture. The culture of a company is shaped by people who desire to grow and develop, infusing themselves in the purpose and mission of the organization. Culture provides a team with direction, a shared understanding of the behavior expected, and a tangible work environment that influences and reflects those beliefs. For example, if employees believe they will be punished for a contradiction to the ideas of a leader, then they are less likely to provide feedback. On the contrary, if an employee feels like their opinion is valued then they are more likely to contribute intellectually to the progress of the company.

When you make recruiting decisions purely on skills, and don’t take into account the cultural fit of the candidate, you may find:

  • The candidate does not fit in with your existing team
  • They will quickly become dissatisfied with their role
  • Will not adhere to the values and behaviors expected of them
  • May end up leaving faster (through resignation or termination)

Therefore, when an organization has a good handle on their desired culture and hires for both job fit and culture fit, they will notice:

  • increases in employee happiness and cohesion
  • improvements in team performance
  • team members becoming brand ambassadors and ‘star performers’
  • retention of those stellar employees
  • overall growth of the business

It is equally important to hire recruits who will embrace your company values, AND  who are capable of learning the skills needed for the job. That second part is important – there are skills you can train, but personality traits you cannot (for example, being a ‘people person’).

Here are 7 Steps to help you Hire for Culture Fit and Job Fit:

  1. Ensure you have a set of values and how they translate to the employee role
  2. Reference these company values in any advertising for the role
  3. Discuss the values and organizational culture during the initial interview
  4. Ask questions that relate directly to these values and culture
  5. Ask questions that ensure the recruit has traits that will lead to quick success in job skills
  6. Ensure you have a solid onboarding process that incorporates the culture
  7. Schedule multiple meetings within their first month to mentor on skill and support cultural development

You’ve heard it once, and probably thrice…

You are who you Hire!

So recruit team members who demonstrate the ability to accomplish the job successfully, and employees who embrace the vibe and identity that is valued by your business.


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