Recruitment: Why hiring for ‘cultural fit’ is important

Sheep Central, September 19, 2014

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THE recruitment and selection process is slowly gravitating towards hiring based on core values (cultural fit) rather than technical competencies.

One of the reasons for this trend may be attributed to Gen Y members entering the market, who typically stay at a job for about two years and prioritise meaningful work over pay, as well as working for a company that is aligned with their own values.

This means by clearly defining your company’s values and integrating them in your company, you are more likely to attract employees whose personal values are in alignment with yours.

Your core values may also naturally screen-out non-cultural fit candidates who may be less likely to apply for the vacant positions, since they do not share the same values.

When selecting job applicants to interview, employers consider factors such as skills, experience and educational background – which are easy to quantify based on a resume.

However, in agribusiness, it is essential that we consider throwing cultural fit into the mix as well, because it will determine whether or not your talented new employee will complement your business at more than just a skill level.

Cultural fit is about the values, ethics, and mindset of the applicant, and whether these things align with your company’s own values, ethics, and mindset.

Some of us assess this naturally, but it is hard to quantify. Cultural fit is playing a more vital role these days for a potential employee’s success in your company or on your property. Here are five reasons why:


Cultural fit can be your company’s competitive edge that makes you unique.

If your company’s unique selling point is your exceptional customer service, you’re going to try and find candidates that show great customer service skills. If your company is known for its innovation, then you’re going to focus on finding competent innovators when you’re hiring. By hiring based on qualities that your company culture values, you’re ensuring your company’s competitiveness based on those qualities.

A good cultural fit encourages employee loyalty.

Though new employees are often very excited about their new jobs, the romance of a new job may not last long. They will start to see differences and problems that prevent them from fitting-in or working effectively. You can avoid that by hiring a candidate who is a good fit for your company’s existing culture and processes.

You can upskill an employee but culture fit is ingrained.

It is easy to send an employee to conferences, workshops, and any additional training where they can acquire new skills or improve their existing ones. But, you cannot force an employee to follow your company culture. As you can see, hiring for cultural fit has great benefits for your company. While you still have to look for competence and communication skills, cultural fit should also be an important factor in your hiring decisions.

A good cultural fit gives new employees a head start in getting along with existing employees.

Your new employee needs to quickly and effectively become part of a company’s existing team. This is much easier to do if your employees share common values, ethics, and mindsets when it comes to work. New hires will not feel like outsiders, and it will quickly be apparent to them how they can contribute to the rest of the team.

It’s easier to match expectations with a good cultural fit.

Your employees’ expectations regarding flexible working schedules, remuneration and work-life balance should match your company’s. Otherwise, employees may feel resentment if they expect better work-life balance even if your company’s employees are known for diligence, hard work and working late.

Cultural fit adds intangible value to an organisation. Some businesses thrive on the fantastic dynamics of their employees, resulting in a high energy work environment.


How to measure cultural fit

The measurement of cultural fit for a potential employee can be difficult, especially if your interview questions are not tailored to company core values.

But there are tools companies can utilise such as psychometric tests where the individual’s aptitudes, personality, work styles, motivation and values are tested.

These tests provide a valid means of gaining detailed, objective insight regarding an applicant’s suitability for the role beyond their basic skills, experience and qualifications. McQuaig is a great pre-employment personality profiling tool that delivers accurate results to identify key talent strengths.

The best practice to hire on cultural fit is to combine both the traditional job-fit interview questions with your core value-fit questions.

You want people in your company to live and represent your core values, but you also need these people to be able to deliver results that will help you and your company achieve the big picture goals.


Source: AWX Agri – Partners in People




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