Is your next hire a good cultural fit?
It’s the holy grail of recruitment; a candidate who not only meets the job skill requirements but also the cultural fit of the organisation. More often than not, however, matching the candidate's ability and their cultural fit presents a dilemma, not a dream.
Good cultural fit is important; it ensures a cohesive business unit and a team of employees who are much more likely to work collaboratively and support one another. Typically, a strong cultural environment leads to a workforce that demonstrates investment in the company’s success and will therefore work more effectively to meet business objectives.
Are you asking the right questions?
Of course, hiring for fit can be more difficult to determine than levels of experience or skill sets. In interviews, ask the tough questions that will lead candidates to reveal something of themselves beyond their work history and skills experiences. You’re looking to uncover insights about the environment they like to work in and what makes them thrive; so ask questions that probe deeper and don’t be afraid to ask about the negative, as well as the positive.
Did you find out about a job they found challenging in the past?
This is a good question to ask as an indicator of what they culturally need to make work successful for them in the future. Ask questions that dig into it and what it was about the role that was difficult: was the management team not inclusive? Were they removed from decision making? Were projects working to too tight a timeline? All challenges met present an opportunity to provide support and give you an opportunity to assess whether your culture is one that can better meet their needs.
Who's their best manager and preferred management style?
It doesn’t matter if they say their best boss was the café owner when they were 18 and still studying, someone who understood their need for work-life balance and flexibility, a line manager in their first career job who supported their training needs and helped carve opportunities for growth; or maybe they say themselves (this one could be an independent and ambitious employee!). Who they describe and what they got out of their management style will result in a conversation that will be illuminating on all fronts.
While it is imperative to hire people with the skills to get you there, ultimately, a good cultural fit is going to compel your employees to stay put, work to achieve a shared vision for the company and recommend you as a great place to work. If you're lucky enough to uncover the holy grail of skills and fit in your talent search, hold onto it!