You may have heard the phrase that, “people are hired for skills but fired for fit.” It’s true and happens quite often. Consequently, matching a candidate with an organization’s working environment or culture has become an essential part of the interview and selection process.

While a candidate’s skill sets and expertise are extremely important, hiring managers and HR professionals are starting to realize just how vital it is for a job candidate to fit their company culture in order to avoid a costly mismatch or misfit.

Each company has its own unique culture comprised of values, surroundings, management style, delegation of power and authority, decision making latitude, work/life balance, etc. Your company culture will help you to understand what type of candidate to pursue and what questions to ask during the interview process in order to establish if there’s a culture fit.

Personal Experience

Recently, the Direct Recruiters team encountered a major manufacturer of flexible packaging that had a very rigid requirement list for the ideal candidate. We spoke with them about easing up a bit in order to find a candidate who not only had some of the hard skill sets, but also would be a good cultural fit. However, our client insisted that their perfect candidate should possess all of the skill sets related to the organization’s core business and would not lighten its list of candidate requirements. 

After conducting a search, the team could find only one candidate who met their criteria and during the interview process, our client only asked specific questions pertaining to technical aspects and expertise, but nothing about personality.

As a result, several months into the job, we received a call to inform us that their new hire was not meshing well and did not have the right attitude. After several unsuccessful attempts to integrate him into the company, they let him go.

The Direct Recruiters team began a search again, but this time our client was open to more than just hard skill sets. They wanted a good personality fit as well. We found several candidates and eventually, our client made the right choice.

Culture-fitting enables you to better determine which candidate is best suited for your company. Keep in mind that it’s no longer just a matter of “can do” or “will do,” but rather “will fit.”

5 Tips to Finding the Ideal Job Candidate

Here are 5 tips to help you uncover if a job candidate is going to fit your company culture:

1. Ask for specific examples of previous environments they have worked in and which type of environment they performed the best. For example, if your candidate is highly skilled but performs best when “solo,” they won’t last long if your culture is team-oriented.

2. Find out what keeps them coming back to work besides pay. This will give you some insight as to what motivates your candidate and if they would feel inspired working for your company.

3. Invite your candidate to participate in group activities or interact with your employees prior to making an offer to test whether they demonstrate those values that are important to your company.

4. Ask your candidate about the qualities that he/she feels is most important to the job. If they provide you with a different list of qualities than what your position requires, it’s a red flag situation.

5. Inquire as to what they know about your company. A well prepared candidate should already know a few things about your company culture. Let them tell you why they would be a good fit.

Direct Recruiters