Focusing on the skills, accomplishments and experience of potential candidates is an integral part of the interview process, but what about company fit? Although it’s essential that the candidate has the necessary skill set to fill the role, hiring a new employee that aligns with your overall mission and matches the culture at your company is just as relevant to the applicant search.
Define your company culture
The first step to verifying if a potential employee matches company culture is to take a moment to consider how you define the culture of your company. How would you describe the mission, values, ethics, goals, expectations and work environment of the company? Understanding how your company thrives is key preparation to determining which candidates would flourish at your organization.
State your company values
It starts with your job announcement. Company fit should be integrated into every aspect of recruitment from job ad to interview. Including your values and communicating your mission from the beginning is an easy way to display your company culture from the start. Choose a few applicable adjectives that match the culture of your company and describe the work environment. This way, you know that the applicants that are applying for the open position are interested in your company because of the job and the culture.
Ask the right questions
Stray from the candidate’s CV and ask questions that will give you insight into how well they would fit in with the company culture. Ask questions such as:
- What inspires you?
- How would you describe your work ethic?
- How do you define success?
- What’s your ideal work environment?
- What are your hobbies?
- How would you describe yourself in three words?
- How do you handle adversity and failure?
These questions will allow you to get to know the candidate better which can assist you with deciding if they are the best choice for the job and for the team. If you are working with a staffing firm, express the importance of company culture so that they know to include moments in the interview for questions that go beyond the résumé.
Integrate more than one interviewer
The more opinions that you can gather, the more confidence you will have in your hiring decision. Don’t rely on only one person’s opinion, but create a collaborative assessment where multiple team members are involved. This can be accomplished by a panel interview, an interview with two people, or multiple interviews with different people each time. You will receive a more comprehensive scope of the employee which will produce more accurate results when it comes to determining if they’d be a good culture fit.
Give the candidate a tour
Following the interview, take the potential employee around the office, pointing out areas such as meeting rooms, break rooms, and work spaces, while casually commenting on the work environment. Introduce the candidate to various team members, such as managers, the receptionist, and especially those that he or she will be working with on a daily basis. Take note on interactions and comfort level. Circle back later in the day and ask for initial impressions and general feedback.
Make diversity a priority
Critics of hiring to fit company culture believe that it leads to discrimination and promotes a lack of diversity within an organization. Finding the perfect culture fit for your company does not mean hiring the same people. You are not searching for a replica of Max, the photo guy, but a candidate that can compliment Max’s skills and is compatible with all team members in order to work toward a shared vision. The best teams are built with individuals from different backgrounds who can find common ground to come together.
A résumé is just one dimension of what makes up a potential employee. Hiring someone that doesn’t align with your company culture can be a costly mistake, as turnover due to a poor culture fit can cost an organization 50-60% of the person’s salary. A new hire is a big investment and taking the steps to find out if the job candidate matches your company culture will ensure that your mission is supported and that your new employee will be dedicated to their new role.