Company culture varies between organizations. It defines the environment your business sets for its employees. It shapes how workers interact with each other, how operations are run, and your brand’s overall values. As it is different from one organization to another it is so important to hire for cultural fit.

Value-centric companies like Adobe are a good example of hiring for a cultural fit. They put an emphasis on trying to balance a candidate’s skills with their alignment with the organization’s goals. The company’s Chief of Talent Brian Miller says they are “ultimately looking for someone who shares our values and brings new perspectives and experiences that make Adobe stronger.” This shows just how far businesses are willing to go to hire for cultural fit and onboard candidates who can smoothly transition into their roles and the current working environment.

Hiring for cultural fit is a practice that has lasted for decades, and for good reason.

Why hire for cultural fit

There has been a recent spike in employee dissatisfaction in the last few years. Our previous article on ‘How to Respond to Job Dissatisfaction’ explains that when workers feel discontent in their jobs, turnover rates increase, hurting a company’s overall performance. One disgruntled employee can also cause a domino effect, lowering morale among team members.

Job dissatisfaction can be caused by a few things. Namely lack of interest, poor work-life balance, unfair pay, poor communication, and micromanagement. Some of these factors are related to a mishandling and misunderstanding of company cultureThe World Economic Forum writes that good culture is a way to counter mass resignations, which have become a recent trend, so hiring workers that align with your internal and external goals will be a big help.

This method of candidate selection for cultural fit is beneficial– especially when it is done correctly.

Two HR experts having an interview

Recruitment of the right candidates

Clearly define your company culture

The first thing you should do is to create goals and define what kind of management style you want to implement. This will be reflected in the visible aspects of your operations, such as office dress codes, business hours, employee benefits, and treatment of clients. Being clear on what your company culture is from the beginning will help you know what exactly you are looking for from prospective candidates and hire for cultural fit the right way.

Are you looking for someone who has an easy-going personality or someone who likes to take charge? Are you trying to find people that can cultivate more creative or more strategic ideas? Giving your hiring team an idea of what to look for will lend a hand in helping them choose the right people.

Work on your public image

After defining what you want from future applicants, you should also work on creating an image through public relations that showcases your company culture. Being seen as a trusted business with good goals and principles will encourage candidates who have similar objectives to apply for a position in your organization. 

Maryville University states that public relations (PR) essentially dictates a business’ reputation. Building a good image is done through strategic marketing, advertising, and communication. You can work on your PR by hosting networking events, engaging with audiences on social media, and creating press releases that showcase the best side of your company culture. Making your corporate culture more visible can help candidates understand your goals and values, so they know what to expect and they can determine whether or not they are a good fit for your business.

HR working on their public relations

Create a cultural fit recruitment strategy

Strategies in hiring for cultural fit applicants can vary from company to company but most organizations that practice it typically have more thorough processes. This can be seen with the likes of Zappos, a business known for its strong principles and values. They relate hiring a candidate to courting a person – each party should get to know each other better before moving forward.

Hiring managers invite prospective applicants to social work functions to see if they can blend well with existing employees and get a better grasp of the company culture. They also have a behavioral test that is tailor-fit to their values so interviewers know exactly what they should be looking for in candidates.

3 Aspects of company culture to highlight

When hiring for a cultural fit, it is similarly important that you know which are the most important parts of your company culture. This will help narrow down your search and find a candidate who is truly right for your organization. These are just a few that you can choose to emphasize during your search:

1. Collaboration

If your company wants to put an emphasis on the social aspect of work, then you should hire employees who can develop strong interpersonal relationships and can collaborate with others. Hiring for cultural fit will prevent any tension from developing among teams and keep morale high with other workers.

Having a candidate who is willing to work with others also means that they are more engaged in their work environmentA study done by Gallup found that this can greatly affect performance. Employees that are more engaged are 17% more productive and are 41% less likely to miss work. Finding candidates who fit the bill will ensure that you hire someone who can not only get the work done, but is also able to work with other members of your organization.

2. Feedback

It is also crucial to find candidates who can respond well to feedback. This should not only come in the form of critiques, but also in praise towards employees who are putting in the work to achieve their professional goals.

Not everyone is open to continuous feedback from their employers, so emphasizing that your organization does this can help set expectations. Be transparent with how this is done, whether it’s through submitting performance reviews or having one-on-one meetings with them. This will help give them a well-rounded view of how your company functions. It will ensure that you will hire someone that can take feedback to heart and learn how to improve.

3. Inclusivity

A culture of inclusion means that each and every employee will have a sense of belonging in your company. It can build better worker engagement, promote a safe and understanding space, as well as increase employee retention greatly. It is an important aspect of company culture that many organizations are trying to promote in modern times.

When searching for candidates, be completely transparent with the principles and values you have set. This will prevent you from hiring people who do not see eye to eye with your organization on certain social concerns, and keep the workplace a safe environment for all employees.

A company that hires for cultural fit accounts for inclusivity

Having a developed company culture is business-critical, since it can increase employee engagement and ensure that workers feel like they are more than just a cog in a machine. Hiring for a cultural fit will not only solidify the company culture you have already built, but makes sure every new hire can match your organization, in terms of values, principles, and goals.

By knowing which aspects of your company culture you want to promote, you will be able to create a fruitful strategy for finding the right candidates. It will also dictate the kind of image you are portraying to the public, which can affect how applicants view your organization.

Seeing the success that hiring cultural fits has brought to other companies, it is truly a worthwhile endeavor for many organizations.