A recent survey showed that more than 80% of employer’s top priority when hiring is cultural fit - but what is cultural fit and what does it mean for you? Cultural fit is defined by TechTarget as “the likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviours that make up an organization.”
If you have a clear outline of your business culture you can establish a sense of the type of employee that would flourish in your company.
Think about these points;
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are its values and beliefs?
- What mind-set are you looking for?
When interviewing potential employees it is important to ask questions which enable the candidate to illustrate how they reflect these attributes.
An example of this is the Campbell Soup Company, recruiter Sabrina Ramirez says "We embrace certain themes: helping others, diversity, and working in the community. So a candidate who has done community service or participated in diversity events looks, to us, like a good fit over someone who hasn’t”.
Why is cultural fit important?
Howard Stevenson of Kissmetrics believes company culture is important as it “sustains employee enthusiasm”. Better moods are proven to aid better performances in the workplace which in turn is beneficial to both the business and employee.
A recent meta-analysis by Kristof-Brown (2005) reported that employees who fit well with their organization, co-workers, and supervisor: - had greater job satisfaction;
- identified more with their company;
- were more likely to remain with their organisation;
- were more committed;
When it goes wrong..
In her recent New York Times article “Guess Who Doesn’t Fit In at Work”, Lauren Rivera writes that although selecting new employees in this way can be “more productive and profitable for organisations", some hiring managers have shifted to making rash decisions based on who they would rather socialise with outside of work instead of individuals who possess qualities that will benefit the organisation.
Taking this approach can be detrimental to the recruiting process and also to the business. Hiring someone purely on the basis that they share common interests with you instead of whether their skills and attributes can make a positive contribution to the organization, can be a costly mistake and cause negative ripples throughout the business. This is validated by a study conducted by LeaderShipIQ has shown that 89% of hiring failures are due to poor cultural fit, so getting it right is vital.
What does this mean for candidates?
For candidates it is important to research your prospective company and their values. You can utilize this information to prepare examples of how you personally possess these attributes that the company value. For example, you may find the company has a large focus on community or charity volunteering. If this is something you have had involvement with then if relevant, try and draw upon these experiences in your interview. Details like this might give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
With many recruiters and hiring managers placing importance on cultural fit, does this mean that experience is no longer as relevant? Experience will always be fundamental in job progression, there’s no point a candidate having the right fit for the company but then not actually having the skills to do the job and vice versa. The key is to strike a balance.
Diana Martz gives this example; “If Candidate A is slightly less qualified than Candidate B, but more closely shares your vision, values, and passion. According to Feld and Rivera, an argument could certainly be made for hiring Candidate A, even if his or her previous experience isn’t as ideal as Candidate B.”
Many believe that although one candidate may be slightly less experienced that another that if they possess a strong cultural fit within the company they are more likely to work harder to develop their skills within the business.
Our promise to you..
At ESA Marketing we meet every candidate to make sure we get to know the person behind the CV and ensure we understand skill sets, passions and career aspirations to achieve the highest level of both organisational and cultural fit and provide recruitment solutions that help achieve greater performance.
We only place marketing candidates in a role and organisation we know they will thrive in, providing a quality experience for both clients and candidates.