Will Your Candidate Fit in with the Organizational Culture?
A recruiter spends about 6 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if they’ll move forward with a candidate.
That’s a very short amount of time for making such an important decision. But when HR professionals have dozens of applicants to sort through, they must find a way to evaluate them efficiently.
To help with this process, many departments have implemented digital systems to scan resumes and identify the candidates who include the most relevant experience, according to the keywords they use.
But there is one fundamental evaluation that can’t be done by digitally scanning resumes, and must not be overlooked: assessing candidates to see if they will fit in with the organizational culture.
How to evaluate a candidate for cultural fit
Cultural fit is more complex than knowing whether a candidate is willing to work late hours or play ping pong at lunch. Instead, when evaluating a candidate to see if they’ll mesh with the organizational culture, you should seek to understand how the candidate solves problems or approaches a deadline-driven project. Can their approach improve or add value to the existing team?
If they lack a strong work ethic, prefer a different type of work environment, or have different values than those of the organization, they will likely not blend well. While virtually no one wants to be a cog in the wheel, everyone needs to be aligned with the overall business goals.
Here are some ways to gauge whether or not a candidate will be a good fit:
- During a preliminary conversation or interview, as them to describe their ideal company culture
- Ask them to discuss their previous company’s culture
- Ask them to evaluate their experience in their last role
- Speak to their references about their attitude, behavior, and work style
- Meet them face-to-face!
Low cultural fit = high churn
New hires are an investment. Once brought on, they need to go through comprehensive training in order to be prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of the job. As they progress in their role, they will need ongoing or re-training. This takes significant time and effort for both the new hire, HR departments, and their new team.
But hiring an employee who doesn’t cohere with the organizational culture puts this investment at risk.
When an employee feels out of place or unable to integrate properly, they often experience a decrease in job satisfaction, leading to higher rates of turnover. On average, turnover costs a company 150% of the employee’s base salary and lands the recruiting team back at square one in terms of finding a new candidate.
On the other hand, employees who fit into the organizational culture tend to also be more engaged. Employee retention increases by 87% when employee engagement increases.
Use your recruiting material to attract the right fit
Candidates should get a feel for the culture and understand work expectations before they even submit an application. Make sure that information on organizational culture and vision is clear on the job postings, your company website, and any other collateral used to attract candidates.
The clearer you are at this first touchpoint, the more likely it is that you’ll attract the kind of candidates you’re seeking, from the talent perspective and the cultural perspective.
Don’t underestimate the role of technology on organizational culture
In a fast-evolving digital workplace, you’ll be remiss to ignore the impact of enterprise technology on the organizational culture. It’s important not only to create a solid digital culture, but to mitigate the challenges associated with digital transformation.
A digital culture is critical to becoming agile and adaptable in the face of change. In order to create one, it’s important to hire innovative thinkers and people who are comfortable with technology, especially data and analytics.
But while some people might be “digitally-savvy,” they will still require proper onboarding to your enterprise software. The fastest way to ensure your new users will get fully integrated in this respect is to provide them with the best possible digital learning tools.
Inline guided learning tools that use contextual guidance proactively provide prompts and “hand hold” employees through processes. Even employees with zero prior experience on your software will be able to efficiently complete tasks.
There are many considerations when it comes to understanding what the organizational culture encompasses, and whether candidates will be a good fit. But taking steps to thoroughly investigate these factors is essential to building the most capable workforce.