What Does “Culture Fit” Even Mean?

What Does “Culture Fit” Even Mean?

First thing is first: a candidate’s personality is important when hiring. Of course, it’s not the most important part of a candidate’s fit for a role (the requirements are important too!), but assessing whether or not a candidate will thrive in your office is important for long-term goals.

Deciding whether or not a candidate’s beliefs, values, and goals are in line with your business is referred to as a culture fit. Figuring out the culture of your office, and using it to help shape hiring decisions in the future is a good way to maximize the value of your employees and minimize the cost of hiring. Getting it wrong can be an expensive mistake: toxic employees cost thousands of extra dollars due to lack of efficiency and inevitable churn, and it’s important to do everything you can to avoid them when hiring on new people.

At it’s core, a culture fit blends together two important pieces: your current company’s attitudes and the disposition of your ideal candidate.

Your Current Culture

Have you spent much time reflecting on the way your employees conduct themselves at work? Some companies just let culture develop, but more and more today, companies take pains to create a specific culture based on the norms and expectations that will help employees grow professionally. Studies show that a carefully created and expressed company culture will maximize your employees’ productivity and help attract talent that is well suited for both the role you’re looking to fill, and the quality of work you expect.

If you haven’t taken the time as an organization to articulate your company culture, you could be on a counterproductive (if not dangerous) path. Take a few minutes with your employees, and list out the shared beliefs, vision, etc that are instrumental for your business’s success. Some companies stress work/life balance, and dedicate resources to letting employees work from home a few days a week. Others stress perks, and create an environment that employees will want to experience 40+ hours per week. Once you establish what your culture is, take note of all of the ways your environment and policies support it.

Your Future Employee

There’s no real wrong way to cultivate a culture, but do bear in mind that different cultures speak to specific types of employees. Be careful not to alienate top candidates with an inflexible, irrelevant, or dysfunctional company culture.  Use your top performers as a guide, and advertise your open positions in a way that speaks to the personality traits that would get the most out of your culture.

It’s all about finding the right match. Sure, not every salesperson will be productive working remotely, so field out the bad-fits early on in the interview process. Be open and honest with every candidate about what values, beliefs, and ethics are most important to your company as a whole and how they affect an employee’s daily workflow. That way, there are no surprises when you onboard new employees about expectations in the workplace.

Establishing a company culture can be tough, but it is very important as you build out your team. Every hire you make will influence your company’s productivity in the long-term. Not sure what to look for in a match? Check out *article about soft skills*

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