3 Ways to Tell if a Candidate is a Good Culture Fit } CPS Inc


Nearly half of all surveyed job candidates say culture matters in their job selection. But 86% of candidates will walk away if they perceive you have a bad culture. If you’re a hiring manager, you already know how disruptive it is to bring in a new employee that doesn’t fit your culture. You could end up losing your existing employees as a result. That’s why it’s important to know when a job candidate fits your culture—and when they do not.

What is company culture? Why does it matter so much? More importantly, how can you be sure that the candidate you’re considering won’t sink your culture boat (and drag everyone else down with them).

How to Tell if a Candidate is Good Culture Fit

What is Company Culture Fit?

Let’s lay a baseline for what company culture is in your company. Company culture characterizes your organization’s shared values, attitudes, behaviors, and practices. Culture encompasses how people interact, leaders lead, and everyone works together. Company culture flows from an organization’s mission, vision, values, leadership style, and management practices. Organizational structure, communication, decision-making, and employee development all define your company and the people working there.

Why Does Culture Fit Matter?

Culture fit:

  • Improves employee retention.
  • Increases collaboration and productivity.
  • Enhances creativity and innovation.
  • Improves customer satisfaction.

The surveys show that 91% of managers say a candidate’s alignment with company culture is equal to or more important than their skills and experience. How can your organization be sure the people you hire fit your culture?

3 Ways to Know if the Candidate is a Good Culture Fit

Hiring for skills is difficult enough but making sure the candidate fits your culture is even more challenging. Here are three best practices for assessing whether a candidate is a good cultural fit:

  1. Conduct behavioral interviews: By assessing their past behavior, behavioral interviews evaluate how candidates behave in certain situations. During these interviews, hiring teams must ask open-ended questions that require the candidate to provide specific examples of what they did in the past. Behavioral interviews show how people behave to determine whether their values and behaviors align with your company culture.
  2. Evaluate the candidate’s work style: This approach argues strongly for a testing process that enables you to see a candidate’s work. The goal is for you to observe how the candidate works and interacts with others, how they solve problems, and even how they think. Do they work independently or collaboratively? Do they take the initiative or wait for direction? Do they communicate effectively with others? You’re looking for a work style and behaviors that show the job candidate fits within your culture.
  3. Check references: Not every HR department checks your references but according to the data, most do (87%). When speaking with a candidate’s references, ask questions about how they interacted with people on their team. How did they handle challenging situations? Did they work well with everyone from supervisors to coworkers? Instead of asking about job skills, gear your questions toward habits, communication styles, and behaviors within the context of their team.

Need to Hire New Employees?

CPS screens candidates for culture fit. We also look for basic skills to fit the job requirements. The benefit of working with a recruiting firm like ours is that we add an extra set of highly experienced eyes to look over job candidates for culture and skills fit. We serve all kinds of professional employers and would like to start the conversation with you about how CPS can help your business. Contact us to find out more.

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