How to Achieve that Culture Fit

Much like anything truly worthwhile, finding the right employee to fit your corporate culture isn’t an easy task. While skill and credentials can be learned and earned over time, it’s not easy to make a puzzle piece fit if it simply isn’t the right shape. And if your puzzle piece doesn’t fit, then your company won’t feel complete.

So, what do we mean exactly by ‘culture fit’? It’s all about finding someone who shares your company’s ethos, works and gets along well with their peers, and contributes to a positive working environment.

You can build a team full of motivated self-starters, but if there is no team cohesion, unity, or harmony in the way they work together – then it’s all been for nought. That’s why it’s important to make the ‘culture fit’ a part of the criteria for your hiring process.

How do you achieve this? You start by identifying your corporate culture with a series of questions to ask yourself, and then you go about seeking candidates who tick all of the boxes.

Let’s talk a bit about finding the right employee with that right culture fit, but let’s start by asking yourself a few questions:

• What are the underlying values of your company?
• If you have a mission statement, does this reflect the real culture at your company?
• How would you describe your organisational structure?
• Away from work, is there a relationship between team members?
• What does your company value most, and reward its employees for?
• What would you change about the culture at your company?
• What five best key words or phrases would you use to describe your company?

Have you had a good think about it? Go ahead, don’t worry – we’ll wait.

Once you’ve identified your culture using our questions above, you can now more clearly define your USP (unique selling-point) for attracting new talent.

How is this achieved? By communicating your culture throughout the hiring phase. Let’s talk about how you can get this message across, loud and clear.

The Job Spec
You may not think it, but culture is very important to jobseekers, and that’s more true now in 2020 than ever before. They want to know that your company is a place they can connect with, join, and prosper in – and this is something you can communicate to them through your job spec. See our guide on writing job specs here, and make sure that you reference the culture and ethos of your company in those opening lines.

Conversations with hiring managers/recruitment agencies
Be open. Think beyond the tangible. Give your agency the insight into your ethos and culture. Accept a visit to your premises. For ourselves, we find this gives us the intelligence to make those early decisions in the screening and assessing stage of our process. Our blog How to get the most from your recruitment agency touches on how important this is to your hiring process. When we have insight into your company, we can use our advanced screening process to find you someone who will fit it.

A Careers Page
A way of showing how important your culture is to you while also communicating it to your candidates is with the inclusion of a Careers Page on your website. This page will be the number one resource for hopeful candidates and will allow them to understand what your company is all about – even before they’ve submitted a CV. See Intercom, MasterCard, and Spotify for some examples of Careers Page brilliance.

The Interview
Whether you’ve arrived at the interview phase through your own resourcing or with the aid of an agency, this is the time to have a shortlist of candidates that in some way hold parallels with your company’s culture. Make sure to ask questions that explore those parallels (ie. ‘I see you’re interested in upcycling, can you tell me more about that?’) and really see if the candidate will fit in at your company.

Culture is the glue that binds employees together under a shared goal and ethos, and a company can succeed or fail based on how well those employees meld with that culture. Making the ‘culture fit’ a part of your hiring plan is the only sure-fire way to make sure that you’re building a team that is unified, industrious, and who believe in your goals as much as you do.