Sure, a company’s vision may be written on the wall for everyone to see, but if employees’ personalities, work habits, and attitudes don’t match it, it won’t be long before their reputation will begin to precede your company’s vision. So how do you make sure you hire those who fit your company’s vision and carry it on in their work?
First, let’s talk about what cultural fit actually is.
Finding a candidate with the same sense of humor, personality, or background is not what we mean by “culture fit.” Rather, according to Entrepreneur.com, it’s “whether or not this individual understands your organization’s values and practices them on a daily basis. And most important, do they have the potential to enhance the trajectory of co-workers and the business alike?”
So while a potential candidate may be quite different than your current employees, their attitude towards their work, integrity, and values should be the same. Forbes says, “Managers should regularly ask HR to review culture fit-based decisions to ensure you’re not accidentally building a team of people who all think, look and act the exact same way.”
Make your vision clear
Employers should make their company’s vision and culture extremely clear from the very beginning of the job description. Be sure that your company mission or vision is literally written out somewhere in the job description. Tell the candidate what your best employees are passionate about as well as what you love to see in candidates. Even creating a simple video about your company, what you care about, and what it’s like to work there can be an engaging way to attract candidates who share in your vision to apply for your open roles.
Paint the candidate a picture
What is it like to work for your company or in a certain department? Who will a candidate be working with or reporting to? How and how often do managers provide feedback? By painting a picture of what it’s like to work for your company and the attitude, teamwork, and growth you hope to see happen, you’ll be giving candidates a clear idea from the get-go of whether they’d be a good fit for you. Let candidates know what your most successful employees are like and what they’re passionate about.
What’s the role’s purpose?
Sure, you can outline a job’s daily responsibilities, but to truly attract killer talent, you’re going to want to communicate the purpose this role has within your company. How does this particular position make a difference? How does it affect as well as work with other teams within your organization? Candidates these days are on the hunt for meaningful work. If you can convey to potential candidates how their job makes a difference, you’ll have a much better chance of attracting someone who, you know, actually wants to make a difference.
Aside from telling a candidate about what your company or the specific job is like, maybe let them know something that’s unique about your company or employees. Do your employees come from a wide range of interesting backgrounds and experience? Do you have a quirky yearly tradition that your teams love? What is something interesting about your company that a candidate who might just be browsing through open positions might remember?
Ask the right questions
One of the best ways to learn about a candidate’s character is to ask situational questions. These are the type of question that usually begin with “Tell me about a time you…” These types of questions can give you a much clearer idea of how the candidate works both with a team as well as in a customer facing position.
Another great question to ask is simply, “Why do you want to work here?” See if the candidate brings up your company culture and vision in their answer. It could be that they’ve been admiring your company from afar and they, themselves, feel like your company would be a great fit for them culture-wise.
Here are a few other questions that can help you determine a candidate’s fit within your company culture:
- What do you hope to achieve during your first six months here?
- What would make you quit a job in the first month?
- How do you prefer to get feedback from your manager? Through annual performance reviews or weekly meetings?
- Describe the type of work environment in which you are most productive.
Think about who they’ll be working with
While your company has an overall vision and culture, each individual team or department within your company may have its own subculture. If they’re already working together well and pushing the business forward, you may have to be careful to not disrupt the morale of the team by bringing in an employee who doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the team.
When you’re interviewing a potential candidate, have him or her meet the rest of the team and get a feel for what it’s like to work in that department. If appropriate, you might even think about having a member of the team join you in part of the interview process to get their take on whether the candidate would be a good fit for the role. While a candidate doesn’t need to fit the same demographic as others in the team, is important to see if they’ll work well as part of the team as well as inspire growth.
Aligning a candidate with your company culture doesn’t stop after the interview process. Your culture, mission, and values should constantly be talked about. This can happen in team meetings, training and personal development, and even side conversations. By following through and making sure your values and culture are consistent across your company, you’ll set yourselves up for making great hires that align with your company in the future.