Hiring for culture fit: Why it’s important and how to achieve it

By Joe Peters

Hiring employees with interests, habits, and lifestyles that are aligned to the unique culture and values of your organization can produce much better results for your business.

Known as “culture fit hiring,” a survey from Jobvite indicates that hiring for culture fit is bound to be among the top considerations of many companies this year, especially when it comes to in-person applicant interviews. This survey also points out that conversational skills, relevant work experience, and industry knowledge are some of the most likely priorities of these businesses.

To put this in more perspective, another recent survey found that a mismatch in culture between employees and companies is a leading cause of attrition across lots of companies in the U.S. Now keep in mind that any rate of attrition costs your organization considerable amounts of time and money among other resources. And aside from these problems, opportunity costs can accumulate when your company needs to constantly hire and train new employees just to continue with your operations.

Your organization must learn about significant culture fit hiring strategies and tactics today to avoid wasting money.

Culture fit hiring by numbers

Almost 80% of millennials say they prioritize a company’s culture and values when looking for employment opportunities, according to Glassdoor. Their findings point out that these job seekers ignore offers that don’t look like a good fit for their interests and lifestyles, regardless of monetary compensation.

Meanwhile, almost 25% of all 5,000 American professionals who participated in the Korn Ferry poll say they left their jobs because the culture and values of their former employers didn’t resonate with them enough.

You can avoid costs and problems that come with high attrition rates by taking the time to learn why you should consider culture fit hiring as a major priority of your organization’s HR management. This will enable you to pinpoint and customize the most strategic ways to implement the right culture fit hiring systems into your human resource activities.

Top 3 reasons to prioritize culture fit hiring today

First, it’s extremely difficult if at all possible to train employees in embracing your company’s core culture and values. The personalities, interests, and lifestyles of adults can’t simply be changed through a series of training sessions just to match your organization’s ethos. And they shouldn’t have to, anyway. It’s a more beneficial use of your company’s time, energy and money to find workers who already have soft skills and values that match those of your organization.

Second, employees who can best fit in with the culture and values of your organization, existing staff and customers are less likely to leave and look for other job opportunities.

Think about it.

An introvert who finds it more motivating to work alone wouldn’t want to be immersed all day in a workplace full of extroverted co-employees and managers, right? So instead of wasting your company’s resources in hiring and training new employees who aren’t a good culture fit, you’re recommended to find workers who aren’t likely to leave your organization any time soon.

Third, employees with matching personalities, values and a collective culture tend to work much better with each other. An increase in productivity is expected when the workers of an organization find it motivating to collaborate with their like-minded colleagues, especially in an environment that nurtures their common interests, objectives, and goals.

On the other hand, employees who tend to clump together in separate groups to regularly interact with like-minded co-workers are more likely to cause friction against others within the same organization. If you identify potential red flags in a candidate, know that it can escalate later and those negative traits can become big problems.

So now let’s move on to proven strategies that your company can do to ensure that you’re implementing the right culture fit hiring tactics into your human resource activities.

Straightforward strategies to ensure viable culture fit hiring results

First, you need to identify your company’s core culture and values before doing anything else in this regard. Many companies fail to do this, which often results in ineffective culture fit hiring policies and systems.

By laying out your organization’s exact ethos and studying the culture and values that are fostered by your existing staff and customers, you’ll be able to create a more suitable hiring system, processes, and policies for finding the right workers.

Second, you’ll gain a lot of benefits when you develop standardized candidate assessment modules for your human resource managers. Of course, you must integrate elements that are relevant to your organization’s culture and values into the entire evaluation and hiring experience. An effective example of this is a set of questions that compares an applicant’s cultural preferences in an organization against the existing core culture and values of your company. A number of proven personality tests are readily available. For example, you can buy disc tests online to help you identify a job candidate’s communication style and how they might interact with the personalities of existing employees.

Third, situational judgment tests are proven tools to correctly assess a candidate’s preferences in terms of a potential employer’s culture and values. You can develop these materials by taking cues from the regular activities at the various departments of your company. For instance, videos that seek to gauge a candidate’s reactions to frequent real-life situations within the workplace and also when in a customer-facing position have been quite effective in assessing if the applicant is indeed a good culture fit for your organization.

Fourth, asking applicants to spend some time at your workplace can indicate whether they’re sincerely motivated by the culture and values of your organization, staff, and customers. Instead of simulating relevant real-life situations that they’re expected to regularly encounter as soon as they start working at your organization, your human resource managers are likely to get more useful data through this strategy.


Keep these things in mind while you’re developing your culture fit hiring systems and modules. You’ll be able to think of other more specific ways that can match your organization when you consider these strategies.


Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters.

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