Recruiting for Culture Fit

Steve Lowisz

Why is culture fit so important when talking about candidates?

Most of us probably have a similar answer to this question. A person’s job is often like a second home. Their workplace is where they spend most of their waking hours. 

For the sake of the company and the candidate, you want to make sure that the candidate will be happy working there. If their values don’t align with the company’s, they probably won’t stick around very long.

How do you uncover what a company’s culture is like?

A lot of recruiters have probably only met clients with a “great culture.” Let’s be honest, how many clients are going to tell you they have a terrible culture? And what does a “great culture” really mean anyway? A great culture for one candidate might be a dreadful one for another.

There are a lot of ways you can get the client to give you the information you’re looking for without just asking the obvious question, “what is your culture like?”
It’s up to the recruiter to be more creative with their questions to give the client an opportunity to expand:

• Does this role deal with a lot of group collaboration, or will they be on their own for the most part? 
• Will they be communicating with people in other areas of the company? 
• Is there typically a repetitive agenda day-to-day?• Would you say the environment is more quiet and tranquil, or       more boisterous and lively?
• What is the general attitude of your employees?
• Do you have any people working from home?
• What are the top 3 behaviors that the people in this department possess?
• Are there any events that the company regularly partakes in?
• What are your company’s most important values?

It’s all in the details.

Once you know the details to communicate about the culture, it can be leveraged as a selling point to attract the right candidates. Especially when you’re dealing with passive candidates that are currently employed, they’re going to want to know as much as possible.

There’s hardly any incentive for a person to explore the idea of another job if the culture sounds bland and nondescript. The job itself is often the job they’re doing right now, so they want something more. You want to gather as much information as you can from the client up front because it can make or break a candidate’s interest.

How do you know that the candidate will fit in with the company?

It’s a waste of time and does a great disservice to everyone involved to have a candidate just tell you what you want to hear. Before you reveal ALL the company culture details to a candidate, it may be a good idea to first flip the client questions listed above towards candidates themselves. This way it’s easier to encourage genuine answers about what the candidate truly wants. You’ll better be able to discern if they seem like a good fit before diving deeper into the company culture discussion.

There are many aspects to consider when recruiting, but culture fit is one of the most important pieces. If both parties are not on the same page with behaviors and values, then the candidate is bound to fail or quit as an employee. The deeper you can dig around to find out what’s really going on, the easier it will be to find the perfect match!