Most small businesses have a clear definition of their core values, but many don’t realize that these core values are considered their “company culture.” When you hire new employees, your business’ culture should be one of the first considerations when sizing-up candidates.Hiring people for cultural fit is very much important.A good fit will increase morale, improve motivation, foster positive relationships, and ensure everyone is focused on the same goals.
Explain your culture before you hire.
Netflix publishes a detailed publicly-available description of their culture. The company gives people a lot of freedom and values thinking like a founder who does what’s best for the company over the following process in everything from strategy to how people decide to travel.
Being upfront about this attracts certain candidates and repels people who would not be the good cultural fit for Netflix; weeding the wrong candidates out from the beginning.
Use behavior-based interview questions.
Rather than asking applicants about their values, using behavior-focused questions solicits information about how they’ve handled situations in the past. The specific examples shared by applicants from their past will help managers determine whether they have a history of acting with the company’s core values at heart.
“The basic premise of the behavioral interview is that past performance is a good predictor of future performance,” Angela Stanton, associate professor of marketing at Radford University, wrote in an article. She suggests asking questions like “Tell me about a time when you had to be really flexible” or “Can you share a situation when you were able to build rapport quickly with someone in a stressful situation?”
Here are some questions that will help assess culture fit in an interview:
- What type of culture do you thrive in? (Does the response reflect your organizational culture?)
- What values are you drawn to and what’s your ideal workplace?
- Why do you want to work here?
- How would you describe our culture based on what you’ve seen? Is this something that works for you?
- What best practices would you bring with you from another organization? Do you see yourself? being able to implement these best practices in our environment?
- Tell me about a time when you worked with/for an organization where you felt you were not a strong culture fit. Why was it a bad fit
The end goal is to identify and hire the very best candidates whose skills and attributes match the organization’s core values. Cluroe said this objective is achievable when organizations have a “culture that’s based on positive values that are open enough to enable a diverse selection of people to embody them in their own way.”
“Don’t hire someone who claims to care about their work, career, and industry. Hire that too-rare person whose passion has already been proven by their actions,” Babbitt said.