When you’re recruiting for a role within your business, identifying a workplace cultural fit in candidates is essential. There is a greater likelihood that employees will stay with a business longer and contribute more to its success when the work feels meaningful and the company’s values are in sync with their own personal values.

However, to be able to identify if your candidates would be a great cultural fit, you need to be able to articulate exactly what your company culture is all about. A simple way of doing this is to list the top five values or characteristics that you believe are integral to the success of the business. This could be anything from good communication, customer-centricity, innovation, risk-taking, entrepreneurial drive, integrity, collaboration and/or high energy. The goal is to choose characteristics that sufficiently capture the essence of what the company is like to be a part of and what values the company fosters in the workplace.

It’s also important to keep in mind that hiring for cultural fit doesn’t mean hiring people who are simply variations on a theme. The values that define your company culture should be reflected in a richly diverse workforce, with employees that align with the company ethos in unique and different ways.

Make smarter hiring choices

To avoid spending countless hours interviewing people who are not the right fit for the role and your company’s culture, ensure that you create a clear picture of the key attributes of the person  and the required skill set of your ideal candidate. This will make certain that you are able to screen applications effectively.

Start off by asking questions about competencies and experience, such as:

  1. Does the candidate have the knowledge, skills and abilities for the job?
  2. What past experiences have prepared the applicant for this job?
  3. Will this candidate be sufficiently challenged doing this work?

Then add a further layer of questioning, to evaluate how the candidate aligns with your company’s workplace culture:

  1. How is your company’s work meaningful to the candidate?
  2. Are the applicant’s values in harmony with the values of your business?
  3. Will the person naturally perform in ways that are consistent with how we do things here?

For instance, if collaboration is essential to your business’s success, people who have a genuine belief in the value of collaborative work will be a stronger cultural fit than those who are more comfortable working independently.

‘Culture Add’: Look for more than just ‘Culture Fit’

In a continually competitive market of top talent, you should also think beyond a candidate being just a good cultural fit, and consider how they could improve your company and what they could bring to the business. ‘Culture Add’ is a principle that businesses are utilising to hire employees that can bring diversity in their thoughts and experiences into the workplace.

Hiring an employee that can add to the culture, means looking beyond basic job requirements, and selecting candidates for what they can contribute to company culture. It’s easy to fall into the trap of hiring someone who is similar to everyone else on your team already. Hiring someone with a fresh perspective and attitude can push your business to the next level.

This idea is summed up in a great webinar on Employer Branding, hosted by our friends at Employment Hero. In this interview between Employment Hero’s Chief People Officer and Uber’s Head of Recruiting across ANZ – they talk about why Culture Add is becoming more and more important for growing businesses.

Final thoughts

Hiring for workplace culture is extremely important and optimising your recruitment process to find the right candidates that not only align with the company values but can expand on these to further the business, is an important factor in the success of your business.

If you need help with any of your HR processes, Employment Innovation‘s team of expert HR advisors can help. If you are managing an employee who is not the right cultural fit, your best line of defence is having rigorous HR processes , documentation and record-keeping. This is where well-written employment contracts, robust workplace policies and a strict performance management process are essential to your business. Employment Innovations can assist you in navigating your responsibilities within the workplace. Our subscription products include a workplace compliance audit, and you’ll also have access to unlimited workplace advice and our best practice HR documents and templates. Contact us today to speak with a consultant.