What to Look for When Hiring Based on Culture

Joseph Stubblebine
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Many companies receive hundreds of qualified candidates for each open position. Hiring managers and human resource teams are then given the task of choosing the candidates who are most likely to have skills and traits that match the company culture. Knowing what to look for when hiring for culture helps hiring managers ensure that new hires are happy with their working environment, their co-workers and the company as a whole.

When hiring managers consider hiring for culture, they have already selected several candidates who have the skills and background necessary to perform the job. At this point, it is not about which candidate is more talented or more capable than another; each candidate is able to complete the technical components of the job with ease.

However, just because a candidate is able to execute the basic components of the job does not mean that the candidate is a good fit for the company culture. This is where hiring for culture becomes essential.

When hiring for culture, hiring managers need to look for evidence that the job candidate is likely to be both happy and productive within the constraints of the particular workplace. In many cases, a hiring manager needs to confirm that job candidates are willing to work occasional late nights, participate in team-building activities, work within a flat hierarchy management system or adapt to other aspects of company culture that set this employer apart from the rest.

Good job candidates often take the time to learn the company culture in advance and display their willingness to work within the company culture during the interview. If the job candidate appears unaware of the company culture, hiring managers must ask questions that reveal whether a candidate would be a good fit. Hiring for culture means looking for the right answers to culture-based interview questions.

These types of interview questions attempt to gather a job candidate's preferences about management style, as well the types of working environments the candidate likes best. If a candidate prefers to work independently, but most of the company work is performed in teams, for example, the candidate is probably not a good fit for the company culture. Even something as simple as whether or not a candidate prefers a private cubicle or an open-plan workspace helps a hiring manager decide whether the candidate is a good fit.

Because hiring for fit is so important, companies have added cultural fit interviews to the hiring process. These interviews specifically ask questions such as, "What type of working environment allows you to do your best work?" With these questions, hiring managers are able to better determine whether a job candidate is likely to be happy working within the company culture.

When hiring managers are hiring for culture, they are looking for specific clues that indicate an employee is going to fit in well with the company environment. Hiring for fit adds an extra step to the hiring process, but it helps ensure that the employees hired are likely to be happy, productive and ready to contribute to a company's goals.

Photo courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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