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Are you hiring employees that are a good cultural fit?

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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2016-11-30

When hiring new staff, it’s important to find employees who are a good cultural fit for your organization, as well as qualified and experienced for the job.

This means taking the time to find people whose core values are aligned with your workplace culture, to support your company’s mission, vision and goals. You’ve no doubt worked hard to establish the culture of your business and each new person that you bring on board has the potential to contribute either positively or negatively to that culture.

With many of today’s workers looking to use their skills for companies that share their own values, hiring an employee that is a good cultural fit is beneficial to both parties.

Here are some strategies and points to consider, to help you find new hires that are the best fit for your business.

Aim to Reduce Staff Turnover

With recruitment and onboarding costing companies significant amounts of time and money, you don’t want to bring someone on board only to have them leave a short time after.

Employees who are a good cultural fit for their job show greater work satisfaction, higher performance levels and are more likely to remain with the same organization for a longer period of time. Happier staff are more productive and engaged, making it a win-win situation for both parties.

By spending time in your hiring process to find the right fit, you’ll reduce staff turnover and save money on further recruitment and onboarding.

Consider Soft Skills When Hiring

Just because an applicant has the right experience doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person to fill the role.

So-called soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking and emotional intelligence are highly valued in the modern workforce and should not be overlooked when deciding on a new hire.

While traditionally, companies focused more on an employee’s IQ as a measure of potential success, today’s workforce is paying a lot of attention to emotional intelligence. In fact, with 90% of top performers showing high EQ, emotional intelligence is considered the strongest predictor of performance. Employees with high EQ are also seen to be happier, more resilient, better at conflict resolution, continually learning and more effective at leadership.

Personality traits such as empathy, compassion and honesty are also important, particularly for recruiters in the health, social justice or non-profit sectors.

As a recent article in Business News Daily says, “although the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular role, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot.”

Attract the Right Candidates

Potential employees should already have a sense of the way your organization is run from your company’s brand strategy, mission and values. This gives people a sense of knowing what’s “behind the scenes” before they even interview.

Company values should be apparent in the way you do business, every day. You can also use social media as a channel to express these values and make your corporate culture clearly visible to your audience. Show people what your brand is passionate about, what inspires company goals, what you live and breathe in your workplace.

This realistic preview of the job helps attract candidates who are a better fit for your organizational culture. You want people to feel that your company is a good fit for them, as well as vice versa. These new hires can become your best brand ambassadors, as staff who feel aligned with their work culture can contribute to growing your brand, achieving organizational goals and sharing your company values.

Ask the Right Questions in Interviews

Interviews are the best opportunity to see if there’s a good fit between your organization and an individual.

You can use questions about how candidates have handled certain work situations in the past, to reveal how important values are in informing their behavior and actions. Interviewers can then determine how each response aligns with the culture and values of the organization.

Interviews also allow candidates to ask questions about the company and what it’s like to work for. You can get a good sense of how important work culture is to someone by the questions they ask and where their attention is focused.

Don’t Confuse Cultural Fit with Discrimination

When discussing cultural fit, it’s very important to be clear that we’re talking about finding a good fit for your corporate culture – the culture of your company or organization. Cultural fit has nothing to do with age, gender, race, citizenship or sexuality. Hiring, or not hiring, people based on these factors is discrimination, which is never a good thing.

In fact, as well as being discriminatory, in organizations where staff are too similar in personality, background or thinking styles “the resulting lack of diversity will often manifest in poor creativity and undermine a company's competitiveness.”

When selecting new hires, look for people who can help you build a diverse, positive and respectful work culture. Finding an employee who is the right fit will be worth it.

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