How to hire the right cultural fit employee for your company?


Recruitment is one of the most important duties of an HR, and many criteria have to be taken into account when evaluating a potential candidate. One such criterion is culture, and hiring for cultural fit has been a subject of controversy for many years now.

Culture fit is defined as the likelihood that a candidate will be able to comply with the rules and adapt to the core values and the collaborative behaviors that build an organization. So should you hire candidates for culture fit, their skills, or knowledge?

Hiring the right candidates for cultural fit can be rewarding in many ways. Companies can improve employee retention, their overall performance, and ensure better chances of success in business.

If you want to achieve growth and success in business, then always hire employees for cultural fit. We have curated a set of strategic, practical tips on how to hire the best candidates for cultural fit. So read to discover how it can be accomplished.

Why are cultural fit employees essential?

When you recruit a new candidate, you expect that person to be hard-working, loyal, valuable, and long-lasting for your organization. Your company culture is of great significance; it provides the employees with proper guidance and a shared understanding of the company culture, its values and goals, and the expected behavior. Your company culture is that thing that binds the teams together. Candidates who value the company culture go on to become great employees; they work well together to achieve the company’s targets. A candidate hired based on culture tends to stay longer in a company, and the organizational culture helps people work together harmoniously.

Know your company’s culture

The first and foremost step in hiring for culture fit is to know your company’s culture very well. Company culture or organizational culture is defined by how the employees interact with each other and also refers to their shared norms and assumptions. The beliefs leaders and employees share about behavior and consequences are the most critical aspects of organizational culture. Although you may know your organization and its culture well, it’s never a bad idea to revamp yourself and your knowledge of the company’s culture. Each company has its own distinct culture, and the hiring managers need to look for candidates who will share and embody the company’s mission, vision, goals, and approach.

There are certain key questions that you need to ask yourself to check if you are aware of your company culture.

  • What are the mission, vision, and the underlying values of the company?
  • How would you describe your organizational culture and structure?
  • Does your mission statement reflect the culture at the company?
  • Is the office noisy or serious and calm?
  • What’s the kind of relationship between various team members?
  • What is your company’s biggest asset and how are employees rewarded?

Knowing your company culture matters, and it will be easier to hire a new fit.

Establish a set of values for your organization

Establishing a set of values and norms that perfectly suits your organization and align with its vision and goals is inevitable to build a distinctive culture. Conceptualize and create a set of values and ensure that these values are communicated and translated into observable and specific behaviors that the employees are familiar with how to incorporate in their day to day work. It is imperative that as a recruiter, you should spend sufficient time in analyzing the company’s culture and establish values and document them for the organization.

Incorporate culture into the recruitment process

Employee attraction, selection, or hiring and retention are the three main things involved in recruiting the right candidates for culture fit. Companies that give great importance to culture are actively involved in marketing their culture to attract quality candidates. From a company’s perspective, culture is basically about the brand image that it projects. The job market is prone to changes very often, and the requirements keep shifting, and the defining characteristic of culture is that it remains constant during different phases of changes. This is the reason why companies prefer to hire based on culture.

Once you are familiar with your company’s culture, the next step is to market it to attract the right candidates. An online presence is a window to a company’s culture, values, and vision. It will provide a small sneak peek of what it is like to work in your company. Also, you have to understand who you are seeking to hire. You should be able to create an ideal candidate persona to ease the process. An ideal candidate is the one who perfectly fits the cultural criteria of your company. Follow the easy steps mentioned below to attract the right candidates.

Create a page for culture on the company’s website

Provide a clear and detailed description of your company culture in the career section of the website. Sharing the company culture online attracts candidates who are genuinely interested in working for the company. In contrast, it repels the ones who may not be a good fit for the company.

Write job descriptions unique to your organization.

The job descriptions need to reflect your company’s core values and culture. Including the values, competencies, and what candidates can expect from the company’s culture is an excellent way to pen unique job descriptions. The job listings need to be detailed, so include the job role, responsibilities, and expectations for the new hires. An appealing job description will help you drive culture fit candidates.

It is vital to promote your company culture online to attract top talents.

  • Create cool and catchy content that your target persona will instantly relate to.

E.g.: create blog posts, ads, infographics, emails, and testimonial videos of employees talking about the company culture.

  • Utilize different forums like Linkedin, Naukri, and others to connect with desirable candidates. Use these platforms to communicate what your organization stands for.

While marketing the company culture, ensure that you articulate and highlight your company mission, core values, and vision.

How to interview candidates for culture fit?

An interview gives an excellent opportunity to make sure that your hiring process is effective for evaluating culture fit candidates. To optimize the interview process, make it two-directional as possible. The primary goal is to determine if the candidates will be the right fit if they’ll be able to perform the assigned tasks and adapt themselves to the company culture. Try to be honest and up-front about your company culture during the recruitment process.

Step #1: Ask the correct questions

Carefully think about the behavioral questions to brainstorm during the interview and have a clear idea of the kind of answers you want. This will help you identify the best culture fit candidates. Plan the interview questions properly and try testing those questions on the top employees in your company to figure out what a good and convincing response would look like.

Ask a set of questions that will help the candidates find out what they are looking for in a new job, and if they’ll be happy working in your organization. Question them about their previous job and how did they contribute to the growth of that company. Also, asking relevant questions related to their skills, expertise and knowledge will help recruiters in spotting lies on their resumes.

Example of a few cultural-fit interview questions:

  • Do you prefer working on your own or collaborate with other teammates?
  • What’s your preferred work schedule?
  • Describe your working style. What distracts you the most while working?
  • What are you seeking in a new company?
  • What do you like the most about your previous jobs and company?
  • Do you enjoy socializing with your co-workers?
  • Describe your sense of humor. Can you narrate an incident where you acted quite hilarious?

Step #2: Have a robust onboarding process

Conduct a 2-3 hour meeting with new hires to take them through a cultural induction process as a part of the onboarding. Introduce them to the company culture, mission, core values, working environment, and other co-workers as well. Ensure that the newly recruited employees feel comfortable with the culture and are happy to be a part of the organization. Try to build a good relationship with them and allow them to discuss their concerns, expectations, and questions.

Step #3: Get connected with their references

A collaborative interaction helps to hire managers to hire the top candidates. Candidates hired through employee referral programs are 20% less likely to quit their jobs and are more productive; hence they would last longer in an organization. Getting connected with the references can help a lot to learn about a potential candidate. You can gain useful insights into the working style of candidates and under what conditions they are quite productive. You’ll also learn if a candidate hated the previous job or had a bad experience with the employer.

More often than not, a good cultural fit may slip out of place because the new hires may feel isolated during their initial days in the organization. Employee engagement is an essential factor in the micro-culture of companies. Undoubtedly, the best way to maintain a good cultural fit is to make the employees connect with the new hires. They must be able to get along well with and socialize with their colleagues. HR has to schedule activities that would bring new hires and other co-workers together. Employee engagement activities, team building activities, team outings etc. can be facilitated.

It is also essential that everyone in the company stays connected to the tight-knit culture and shares the values through policies and internal communications.

Final thoughts

Hiring the right cultural fit candidates is a challenge, and it highly involves ensuring that the employees treat their co-workers with respect and qualities that are valued by your company. In this article, we’ve shown you some of the best practical ways to hire the best candidates for cultural fit. So using these strategies, you will be able to hire the best candidates whose passion has been proved by their actions.