It’s no secret that a good hiring process is central to the success of your business. Without the right team behind you, the company can never move forward. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners get their priorities wrong when making hiring decisions and they underestimate the importance of cultural fit.
Your company culture describes the core values of your business as well as the atmosphere in the workplace and the general working practices of your team. If you hire somebody that doesn’t share the same overall goals that you and everybody else in the business does, that’s a big problem. You also need to ensure that they work well in the business environment that you have created. If collaboration and free-flowing workspaces are a big part of your company culture, somebody that prefers a rigid work environment with a focus on solitary work won’t get on very well.
So, even though you should look first at qualifications and experience, it’s even more important to find somebody that is a good cultural fit. The technical aspects of the job can be learned over time so it’s best to choose somebody with slightly less experience who is a better fit for the business. So, what are the best ways to hire for cultural fit?
Define Your Company Culture
If you want to hire people that fit the company culture, you need a clear idea of what that culture is. Although you might have some notion of what your overall goals are, you really need to drill down into the core values of the business and determine what is important to you and your team. It’s vital that you spend some time thinking about the things that negatively affect company culture too because, by removing elements that you don’t want, it’s easier to work out what you do want from your business. Once you are clear about what the important aspects of your company culture are, you can start looking for potential hires that embody those values.
Write A Detailed Employee Handbook
An employee handbook is an essential document that helps businesses define their company culture in clear terms and communicate it to new and existing employees. It’s also good to show to potential hires so they can understand your company culture and decide whether they think they would be a good fit. If you don’t already have one, you can use an employee handbook template to help you get started with yours. It should include details about all of the various business processes, guidelines and rules for employee conduct, and an overall discussion of the company culture and values. If you are unsure whether you have included everything you need, read it with the mindset of an outsider and ask yourself whether somebody would have a clear idea of exactly what your business is all about once they finish reading.
Discuss Company Culture On Your Careers Page
Adding a careers page to your company website is a great way to attract talent and you tend to get a better class of candidate because they are actively searching and they have singled your company out. When writing your careers page, put discussions of company culture front and center. If you can give people a sense of what it’s like to work for your business, candidates can decide for themselves whether they think they would be a good fit or not. This means that most of the people that apply have already considered the company culture and decided that they will slot into the team easily, which makes your job a lot easier.
The important thing is that you are honest about your company culture and you don’t leave out aspects that you think might put people off. Everybody is looking for different things so the aim is to find candidates that are on the same page, not present a false image of your company to attract as many candidates as possible because half of them won’t be right for the business.
Talk About Team Dynamic And Working Practices In The Job Description
The best way to improve the quality of the candidates that apply for a position is to write a better job description. The biggest mistake that businesses make is only focusing on the requirements and the duties that are expected. Obviously, those details are important because you only want people to apply if they can actually do the job. However, being able to carry out the duties of the role doesn’t necessarily determine whether somebody is right for the position or not. It’s important that you talk in detail about the team dynamic and working practices in your job descriptions. Do people tend to work independently without much input from above? How important is collaboration? Are the working hours flexible and do you allow people to work from home if they choose to? Everybody has their own way of working and people know when and how they are most productive, so it’s important that you give a clear picture of your own working practices.
Set Expectations About Culture In The Interview
It’s tough to get a sense of whether somebody would be a good cultural fit just by looking at their resume, so the interview stage is very important. It’s a good idea to talk to the employee about your company culture and see how they respond. They may also have questions for you about the workplace and it’s important that you are honest with them. If you set clear expectations about what the company culture is like, the candidate can decide if they want to move forward and it’s likely that you will get rid of those that are not a good fit at this stage.
Ask The Right Interview Questions
There are certain interview questions you can ask which will help you determine if somebody is a good cultural fit or not. You need to ask all of the basic questions about the job itself to ensure that they are able to fulfill all of their duties but you should spend a good portion of the interview asking questions to determine whether they fit your company culture. Examples of good questions include:
- What is your ideal working environment?
- Do you enjoy having a social relationship with coworkers?
- Describe the best boss you have ever had and are there things you don’t like in a boss?
- Do you work best on your own or as part of a team?
These kinds of questions give you a sense of the way that they like to work so you can consider whether that lines up with the rest of your team or not.
Let Them Meet The Team
The easiest way to see whether somebody gels with the rest of your team is to let them meet. When you get down to a few final candidates, you should show them around the office and introduce them to people when they come in for their final interview. You could even consider involving team members in the interview process. The rest of the team will be able to offer a good insight into the candidates, so make sure that you listen to their opinion. Take note of how well the candidate responds to the working environment too. If they seem comfortable and at ease, that’s a great sign but if it all seems alien to them, it’s likely that they are not used to this kind of working environment and they might not get on well here.
Skills and experience are not always the most important thing when hiring a new candidate. If you really want your new employee to be effective, you need to choose somebody that is a good cultural fit.