Hiring

The key to improving your employee retention is hiring individuals who fit your company culture. They could be the most qualified candidate in the running, however if the work environment and team dynamics do not suit their personality and working style, they are unlikely to stay with the organisation for long.

Your company culture is shaped by a series of factors, from your company values and processes in place, to the your employees themselves. It can be hard to form an impression of how an individual would fit in, based on your brief meetings in interviews; however there are a few signs to look for.

Here are a handful of ways that you can assess a candidate’s culture fit:

1) Know what qualities you are looking for

If you don’t have an idea of the kind of individual you are looking to fill a particular role, how will you know when you’ve found someone suitable? Ahead of meeting candidates, construct a list of the qualities that you would like the ideal employee to possess, including their personality traits and work ethic, as well as the skills and experience required for the job. For example, is the role better suited to a studious introvert who works well independently? Or would someone who is a little more outgoing and good with people suit the culture more?

2) Ask open ended questions

You will learn much more about an individual by asking open ended questions that get them talking about themselves, than closed questions that leave little room for elaboration. Try to ask questions both in relation to work and their personal interests and give them the opportunity to speak freely in order to get an insight into their personality and how they communicate. Asking them questions to do with culture, such as what they enjoyed about their last workplace or how they stay motivated, will help you to directly compare what they want from a workplace and what you can offer. Some employers also like to ask slightly quirky and outside the box kind of questions, that may not have anything to do with the role, but can divulge a lot about the kind of person the candidate is.

3) See how they interact with others

You and the candidate may get along like a house on fire, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will gel with the rest of the team. To get a better idea of how they would fit in at the company as a whole, get your candidate to speak to a few other employees when they come in for their interview and observe how they interact with them. Don’t just introduce them to the people who they will report to, but also their peers and anyone who would be reporting to them, as this will build a fuller picture. It also means that you can pick a number of your colleagues brains about their thoughts on the candidates suitability when it comes to making a decision.

4) Compare them to your existing staff

Think about some of your best employees. What qualities do they possess and what kind of personalities do they have? You can then use this as a model for the ideal candidate. You don’t necessarily want your employees to all be clones of each other, as different people can bring different things to the table; however chances are that if your top employees are doing a good job and fit in well with the way the company runs, then somebody who exhibits similarities will too. The same goes for any problem employees you’ve had in the past. What went wrong? If it was a personality clash, then somebody with a similar temperament may also struggle to fit in.

5) Make sure they are familiar with your company culture

In order to find someone who is a good culture fit, you must have a clearly defined company culture that you and your employees agree on. Think about how you get work done, what kind of people work there, what hours employees work, what the office is like and how the company is structured. All of these factors contribute to the company culture and could impact how an employee fits into the running of things.

Once you have defined your culture, you must ensure that candidates are informed on this upon applying. Job seekers want to find a job that is a good fit for them as much as the employer, so failing to be transparent about the company culture is not beneficial on either side. Providing information about the culture in the job advert and the interview will help to prevent a bad hire.

[Image Credit: Pablo]


About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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