April 14, 2015

Why Hiring for a Cultural Fit Is Important

PuzzleAs a recruiter, you have plenty of things to take into consideration when looking for a hire. Previous employment, leadership positions, skills, and extracurricular activities are important.

But … how do you know if a potential hire can be a good fit within the company?

Hiring for a cultural fit is extremely hard to do off a couple of interviews. Although it may be time-consuming, taking more time to evaluate and onboard a new hire can lead to success in the future. In fact, that is why tech startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding it effective to hire slow and fire fast, as doing so helps both the employees and the company grow.

Recruitment is the lifeblood of an organization. When a company evaluates prospective new hires, it is vital that the company get someone who is a fit within the organization — and just as important, someone for whom the organization is a perfect fit as well.

Here are a couple of examples that prove that it’s important to hire for a cultural fit:

Great Company Ambassadors

Company ambassadors are the kinds of employees that will always talk positively about their organizations.

They will represent the company as much as they can and preach the company’s mission and goals to others. They even make for great recruiters, as they are likely to help bring in talented people who will fit in with the culture of the company.

Creating company ambassadors is a process that starts with the employees’ onboarding experiences. The best practice is to make new hires feel at home the second they arrive at the office. Giving them the autonomy to get accustomed to new workflows on their own will allow them to feel they have the freedom to do what they can and work their way. It also helps if they spend a lot of time being mentored by experienced employees.

It is the responsibility of management to create a smart onboarding program that is optimal for new hires and that will also make those hires feel like they belong.

The Epitome of an Engaged Employee

Before anything else, I would like to say that your business can still be successful if it has individuals who don’t necessarily mesh well with the people or culture of the company. And though they might not necessarily agree with the mission or core values of the organization, they can still do enough to make sure things are running properly.

However, hiring for culture will create an engaging atmosphere in which people will want to share ideas and make the company (and office life) grow as much as possible. Aside from the traditional “engaged employees,” there’s new brand of hyper-productive Gen. X and millennial employee  known as the “smart creative.” The term — coined by Google’s ex-CEO, Eric Schmidt, in the book How Google Works — is used to describe the kind of employees that Google goes after when they hire. Smart creatives are assertive problem solvers who fail fast and come up with new solutions. Hiring a cultural fit that is willing to create and go above and beyond for the company will lead your company to prominence.

If a new hire lacks the creativity, so to speak, they can still be an engaged employee who is passionate about their job. Engaged employees will do their best to ensure that they and their organizations succeed alongside one another.

Here’s an informative presentation on some of the advantages of having strong employee engagement:

The numbers don’t lie. If you can’t find those hyper-productive, “smart creative” types, then don’t feel bad “settling” for an engaged employee.

As long as you’re doing your best to hire people that will fit in, you won’t have to worry about disengagement or turnover.

Less Likely to Leave the Organization

If you have an engaged employee that also happens to be a perfect fit within the office, they are less likely to leave the company.

They will seek advancement within your company, and they will continually try harder to be better every day. Very rarely will they just leave out of the blue.

Aside from getting a hard-working employee, the best part of hiring for a cultural fit is the fact that the employee wants to be there. One of the unsettling facts about disengaged employees is the fact that they’ll do their best to be at work as little as possible.

So, when you take your time during your hiring process to examine if an employee is a good fit for your culture, you’ll find that it is a good trade-off. Having engaged employees will save your company thousands (per individual) in the long term, due to their high productivity, absenteeism savings, and the savings from any costs associated with turnover and/or recruiting new employees.

It’s in a recruiter’s best interest to slowly evaluate a potential hire and see if there is a mutual fit between the company and the individual. Just take into consideration the fact that, if one party is not being honest throughout the recruitment and onboarding process, it will not end well for anybody.

Now go out and find that next star for your company!

Read more in Organizational Culture

Jeffrey Fermin is one of the founders of Officevibe. With a goal of solving some of the major problems that still exist in the modern day workplace, he uses his knowledge to help organizations increase employee engagement and happiness.

G+: https://plus.google.com/+JeffreyFermin/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/officevibe
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JeffFermin
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/jfermin