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How important is recruiting for cultural fit?

Carl Sautereau, chief operating officer and co-founder at Talent Deck


Cultural fit can be a hard thing to define and many businesses may not have officially thought about what this means for them. But regardless of whether it’s official or just the vibe in the office, every business develops its own personality over time.


A defined culture can be a huge benefit to a business but, when it comes to recruitment, many bosses, hiring managers and recruiters can often overlook the importance of finding the right personality fit for a business, focusing too much on what’s on paper – rather than trying to understand the candidate’s values and motivations.


Considering 84% of respondents to a People Management survey said that culture is critical to the success of a business, this kind of approach is incredibly risky. Similarly, 89% of hiring failures are due to cultural fit, according to an article by Forbes.


And, with a generation who sees it as nothing to jump from job to job every year or two, failing to pick the right people can be a very expensive lesson for businesses, which can easily find themselves in a never-ending recruitment cycle to replace people who simply didn’t “fit”.


But just how important is it that businesses invest time and money in developing the culture of their business and put more emphasis on a candidate’s personality during the recruitment process?


Hire the right candidates

Firstly, there needs to be greater emphasis on hiring the right candidates – that doesn’t mean someone with an extraordinary CV, but those who share the same values, motivations and expectations as the business. Sure, a CV can highlight a person’s skills and experience, but it won’t reveal their values, personality or how they respond to specific scenarios. By focusing too much on the CV, hiring managers risk choosing someone who may not necessarily “fit in” with the team.


Instead, the hiring process should focus on the candidate’s personality and values and involve as much of a business’ team as possible, enabling everyone to make an informed judgement call on whether they are the right “fit”.


Invest in people and the business’ culture


Job hopping is more prevalent than ever; gone are the days when employees would stay at one business for the entirety of their career. An article by the BBC highlights that “changing one’s job every few years is considered the norm”.


Therefore, in order to retain the best talent, businesses need to allocate more of their resources to investing in their employees’ continued development. It’s not just about the money, but also about the business’ culture, benefits and the opportunities it provides. If a business provides an environment and culture which aligns with that of its employees, those employees will stay for longer.


It’s important that businesses think about “who” they are – and the kinds of people that would help their business to grow. Investing in the development of the business’ culture is key to ensuring long-term employee retention.


Culture can make or break a business


A strong business culture can drive employee engagement, improve business growth, foster loyalty and strengthen the business’ brand. Businesses like Google realised it early on – making it their primary objective to build a business culture where they hire and cultivate the right talent. Now, Google is thriving and at the top of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ according to Fortune – and has been in the top position eight times in 11 years.


It’s also in sixth place on the list of the ‘Most Admired Companies’ in the world. On that basis, it’s all about people management; not micromanaging employees, but making sure they have everything they need to be successful and achieve their dreams.


Ultimately, cultural fit is increasingly important in the modern workplace. If businesses are to hire for the long-term, more attention needs to be paid to whether or not an employee will actually fit in. In the future, the CV will become less of a barometer in determining how “good” an employee actually is. It’s pointless having all the right skills if their values – and the business’ – don’t align.


Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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