Recruiting Tips: How to Hire for a Cultural Fit

May 19, 2017

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm



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Hiring a team of professionals who fit into your business’s culture can be crucial for the health of your organization. Especially when your staff is small, having an employee that doesn’t mesh well with your company’s mandate can lessen morale and stifle innovation.

If you’re hoping to recruit someone new to your team, it’s important to look for the right cultural fit along with the right skills and experience. Keep reading to learn how you can ensure a cultural fit for your team that will strengthen the bonds of your business.

Get Specific about What You Want

Saying that you’re going to begin recruiting for a cultural fit is one thing—but most employers don’t actually know what type of cultural fit they seek. Deciding that you’d like someone who’s nice and agreeable isn’t enough—you need to start getting specific about what you want.

The best way to start is from the top—consult your managers and team leaders about what they value most in an employee, aside from the ability to get the job done right. You should also look at your top performers and figure out what traits they have in common—is it a chipper attitude and the desire to always learn new things?

Is it their passion for their work, or genuine care for their clients? By isolating these traits, you should be able to develop a company profile—which will act as a guide when it comes time for you to start recruiting.

The Job Description is Key

You already know how important a great job description is to ensure that you attract candidates who have the right kind of skills and experience. You need to be thorough, specific, and use professional language to filter any unfit candidates right from the start.

The job description is also the place where you should begin emphasizing what soft skills are important to you. It can’t be all about technical skills—if you want someone who fits in well with your team on a personal level, you need to discuss your priorities regarding culture. This means being clear about the values you want to encourage—like teamwork, positive attitudes, energy, mutual respect, and passion. These descriptors are broad enough to ensure that you aren’t attracting a group of clones, but are specific enough to get the point across about what type of characteristics your company values in an employee.

Make Your Culture Visible

Attracting great talent to your team starts long before you start the recruiting process. Promoting your business across social media channels can be just as effective as beginning an actual hiring campaign, and can target the exact types of personalities that you’re looking for.

Sharing pictures of your staff dressed up for a holiday party or when they’re out doing team-building activities can make your business look fun and approachable, and might catch the eye of future candidates.

The Interview

The actual job interview can be a tricky step when it comes to hiring for a cultural fit. You need to have a specific set of questions to ensure that their skills and experience match what you need, and you may not always have time to delve into the areas that will expose their cultural values.

A great way to mix both the technical and cultural facets into an interview is ask team-based questions—like how they’ve dealt with working on a team in the past, or more specifically, how they would handle a situation when their team doesn’t get along. Knowing how they work with others can tell you about their working skills and determine a cultural fit within your organization.

How to Write a Job Description That Will Attract Top Talent

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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