Hiring for cultural fit has become even more important, as research shows cultural fit most accurately predicts a candidate’s commitment to their employer. People who align with their company’s core values usually have higher job satisfaction and are often more productive.
Hiring for cultural fit can be difficult, because it’s hard to judge someone’s personality based on a resume and a single interview. Cultural compatibility often emerges over time, and by then, you’ve already made a bad hire.
One of the best things you can do is give job seekers a better understanding of your company culture from the get-go. Job seekers know themselves well, and they’re usually good judges of whether or not they’ll fit in. Many people won’t take a job if the company culture doesn’t appeal to them.
Job seekers need to understand your culture first. Use these five methods to help them achieve a better understanding of who you are, and why they might be a great fit.
1. Understand Your Company Culture Yourself
One of the reasons cultural messages could be muddled in the hiring process is that everyone has a slightly different understanding of what the company culture is. Before you post a job, or select interview candidates, take a moment to review your company culture.
Company culture is found in mission statements, core values, and other documents. It’s also communicated in policies, and decision-making processes. It may even come through in the tone of your email.
Once you understand the company culture, you’re in a much better position to communicate it.
2. Clearly Communicate Your Company Brand
Perhaps the easiest way to help job seekers understand your company culture is to add documents profiling your mission and core values to your website and social media profiles. Even adding a line or two about what you do, and what you value, to the end of the job post can help clarify your company culture.
When candidates can access these clear statements of culture, you’re providing them with the tools they need to evaluate whether they fit with your team or not.
3. Walk the Walk
When your company culture has been properly integrated into the company, it should translate seamlessly into all of your business activities. That includes the hiring process.
One of the best ways to communicate company culture to job candidates is to demonstrate it. With a properly aligned culture, this should be easy enough to do.
The company’s cultural values should shine through in how you communicate with candidates. Making them wait for an email might make it seem like you believe your time is more valuable than theirs, which wouldn’t uphold a company value of mutual respect.
Similarly, if you say you value teamwork but interview and make hiring decisions alone, your actions may seem out of step with your culture.
4. Have a Discussion about Culture
When you interview a candidate, it’s an ideal time to have an open discussion about the company culture. Some candidates will flourish in an unstructured environment, while others need rigid organization. Some will prefer flat organizations with more decision-making leeway, while others work better with a more traditional management hierarchy.
The interview is an opportunity for both you and the candidate to learn about each other. Be ready to describe your culture, and answer questions from the candidate.
5. Don’t Make Aspirational Hires
If you’re striving for a particular company culture, it can be tempting to hire people who align with a culture you don’t yet have. This usually results in higher turnover, so it’s best to hire candidates who fit with your current culture.
To hire those candidates, you’ll have to be honest about what the culture looks like right now.