Authenticity, the key to cultural fit
Cultural fit continues to creep up the rankings of hiring criteria, as its benefits cannot be ignored. Greater job satisfaction, engagement, commitment, performance and employment longevity are all by-products of the alignment between the values and behaviour of an organisation and an individual.
So we want cultural fit, but how do we get it?
Communicate your employee value proposition
An organisation’s employee value proposition (or EVP) is one of the best tools to communicate the organisation’s culture. This highlights what the business wants to be known for as an employer and what employees can expect in return for their contributions. Communicating this throughout the hiring process is critical in ensuring the successful candidate is aligned with the business.
For a prospective employee to know if they align with the values and behaviour of an organisation, they need to have a clear understanding of what these are. They shouldn’t be a secret, but something that’s promoted loudly and proudly to attract the best talent. An organisation should ensure that its employer brand is promoted through the available channels – website, social, PR and content – and that it correctly portrays the best bits of the business.
The existing workforce can be an organisation’s biggest advocate. Staff should be encouraged to share their experience as an employee. The option to meet with existing employees as part of the interview process can be very compelling to a candidate.
Why it’s important to slow down
The recruitment process shouldn’t be rushed; time should be allocated to ensure the candidate is the right one. While there is often a sense of urgency to fill a role, rushing the process can end up creating more work in the long run if the fit isn’t good. The opportunity to interview in various settings or with a variety of employees should be explored. Mixing up the environment and the staff interaction often presents the candidate in different lights, and through different eyes.
Recent research conducted by SEEK revealed that more than two-thirds of the New Zealand population have felt that an employer didn’t deliver on their promises or align its behaviour with the initial impression given. This highlights the need for transparency and authenticity when an organisation is communicating its culture, vision, values and Employee Value Proposition.
The more open and honest a company is throughout the hiring process, the greater the chance of attracting the right talent for the business. As well as the key selling points, the reality and challenges of a workplace should be openly shared, so that prospective employees can make informed decisions. This authentic conversation will deliver engaged employees who align with the organisation’s culture and are more likely to stay longer.