Back to Blog

How to Hire for Culture Fit

The result of hiring someone who doesn’t match your organisational culture can stall productivity, create conflict, and affect your customer’s experience. 


Hiring a candidate with the right culture-fit for your business is often one of the most challenging parts of any recruitment process.  But the good news is that assessing cultural fit is not as difficult as many would think.  Here are some ways you can get started.



What is culture fit?


First, we need to understand what culture fit is.  We see culture fit as the alignment of the prospective employee’s wants, core values, normative behaviours, fundamental needs, attitudes, and goals – with the company.  This means that there is congruency in values, behaviours, attitudes and goals between both parties. 


Think of it like this, when you bring someone into your team, you want that person to be a long-lasting, value-adding part of your work-family.


These people need to share (or have similar) values and goals so that they work well with your existing team. While it is easy to teach a skill, it can be hard to encourage someone to align with a core value, that they may not value.



Three steps to help you hire for culture fit.

  1. List the core-values that map back to your company or team mission.

  2. List the attitudes and behaviours work within your team
    (Think of the attitudes as the ‘'what’ that works well in your team and the behaviours as the 'how' your group go about achieving its mission). 

  3. During the interview don't just talk about the job on offer.  Ask questions that help you identify the prospective hire's values, attitudes and behaviours.

Warning: It’s important to remember what cultural fit is not.


Forbes summarises this well; “It’s important to remember where diversity fits into this equation. Don’t risk overlooking different cultures and lifestyles and backgrounds”.


On the surface of things, a father of three might not fit what you think is the “culture” of your young, single team who are willing to work late into the evening — but he likely brings some of the best historical knowledge of where the industry has been or a better sense of what customers actually want.



Managers should regularly ask HR to review their culture fit questions (and decisions) to ensure they are not accidentally building a team of people who all think, look and act the exact same way.



If you don’t review this regularly, you’ll run the risk of building a team that suffers the negative effects of groupthink and lack of cognitive diversity. 


You want your people to be united by your company’s shared mission.  You can leverage cognitive diversity and varying backgrounds to help your team to actually achieve it — tackling problems in new ways, thinking outside the box and ultimately bringing your culture to life. 


You might also like   Hiring Tips  :  44 high-impact interview questions that will help you  identify game-changing talent  Learn Our Secrets