Company culture is the DNA of your workforce, and is made up of the goals, vision and values of every employee. Depending on the culture fit of your next hire, they can either reinforce your company’s mission, or they can dilute it. As well, because younger job seekers are now placing more importance on company culture, finding a candidate that embodies your values is crucial for all.
Assessing a candidate’s potential culture fit isn’t quite the same as measuring up skills and experiences from a CV, so here are 5 ways to hire a candidate who matches your company culture.
1. Communicate your values
It’s important to communicate your values clearly throughout the whole hiring process, and your job ad is a great place to start. Use your job description to communicate your company culture by setting out your values, but also describing the environment and nature of how you work. Try to go beyond just stating your values, by describing examples of how you live by them.
Clearly defining your company values in the job description will attract the characters you want, as well as encouraging candidate self-selection, saving you precious time. Moreover when your new hire starts, these values will already be instilled on them.
2. Ask open-ended questions
Steer the interview flow more towards a conversation rather than a rigid question-answer interview, and let them do the talking. Asking standard questions can result in rehearsed answers that don’t fully reflect a candidate’s personality. Behavioural, open-ended questions gives a candidate the opportunity to think on the spot and speak freely, allowing their personality to show so you can assess a more authentic response.
Here are some interview questions you could ask to help assess culture fit:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What’s your ideal work environment?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you address it and what did you learn?
- What inspires you?
- What are your hobbies?
- What type of culture do you thrive in?
- Describe yourself in three words.
- What values are you drawn to and what’s your ideal workplace?
- What’s your favourite aspect of your current position?
- How would you describe our culture based on what you’ve seen?
- Talk about a time you worked as part of a team.
- What do you like best about our company?
- How do you define success?
- What best practices would you bring with you from another organization?
- Tell me something about you that isn’t on your CV
3. Have more than one interviewer
If possible, involve more key employees in the hiring process rather than relying on one interviewer. This can indicate a fairer assessment of a candidate’s potential cultural fit, distinguishing that from a personal connection of an individual interviewer. Company culture is not down to one person, it comes from all employees, and having a more collaborative assessment where more voices are heard can lead to a better cultural fit hire that’s agreed by the many.
4. Show them around
Show your candidate the wider picture of your company by giving them a tour around the office. Environment is a great indication of culture, and this allows for a two-way assessment where the candidate can have a better feel for your company and the team they might potentially work with. This insight will let them better determine whether it really is the company they want to be part of. Likewise, this gives you the chance to see how the candidate interacts with other employees; pay attention to their comfort level, and overall behaviour.
Lastly, there is a risk of discrimination when looking for the right culture fit. It’s important to remember that culture fit isn’t about hiring people who are all the same, it’s about individuals who share your vision, goals and values. You should be able to find these attributes in candidates from all backgrounds, and your company values can and should be reflected through a richly diverse team of talent.