How do you assess the cultural fit of a candidate?

How do you assess the cultural fit of a candidate?

Adding the right candidates that will perform and truly fit within your organization is no easy task. Management and leadership know that “culture” is an important factor to any businesses success yet they struggle to assess the cultural fit of new candidates.

A survey by Refresh Leadership revealed that “Cultural Fit” is the #1 most difficult attribute to assess during an interview.

It is hard enough to assess if candidates have the skills and competencies for a role, trying to figure out if they will perform within your organization is even harder. Just because a candidate was a rockstar at their previous employer, does not mean that it will translate to your organization.

What exactly is cultural fit?

Although it can be hard to define, in essence it is the alignment of beliefs, values and behaviours (both personally and professionally) between employees with that of their employer’s core values and company culture.

The first step for any company is to understand and define their own culture, beliefs and values and compare it against those of candidates.

5 Ways to Assess Cultural Fit

1. Face to Face Interviews

In a study by Cubiks, they found that the number one way to assess cultural fit, is through face to face interviews. Face to face interviews, although they can provide a bias, are still a great way to assess cultural fit.

In order for these face to face interviews to be effective it is very important to ask the right questions. Questions similar to “In what work environments do you think you perform best?’ or ‘What are your thoughts on becoming friends with your co-workers?”. Rise People has outlined 50 of the best interview questions to ask to assess cultural fit.

The next part of every face to face interview should include a question period for the candidate to ask questions. This allows a chance to examine how they communicate without being guided. This will allow you to put the spotlight on the applicants personality and communication style.

2. Psychometric Tests / Standardized Pre-Employment Assessments

Psychometric tests like Hogan provide valuable insight into how people work, how they lead, and how successful they will be. Psychometric tests can instantly explore a candidates strengths, performance risks, and values beyond their resumes. It will help to assess how candidates approach problems and think tactically. These types of test can truly identify performance risks before hiring a candidate.

There are many tools and companies that provide pre-employment assessments by focusing on finding candidates that fit with your organizational culture. Digital HR Tech has compiled a list of popular pre-assement tools.

3. Create Content

Creating content, blogs, videos, news items about working at your company, including role specific content can be very valuable. “Day in the Life” blogs or video, that outline what a day is like at the company and within the specific role will give candidates a great sneak peak into what their life will be like. Have them watch or read this content and then discuss what they liked, disliked or any concerns they may have. This will open the door to help you interview the candidate based on the specific environment and daily routines.

4. In-person Tours

Take your top candidates on office tours to let them see for themselves the culture that exists. It also allows them to see for themselves how people interact and get a quick feel for the vibe of the office. It also allows them to be introduced to some of the staff. It will give both sides an idea of how the candidate will experience and interact with the people and culture.

5. Casual Interactions with Coworkers

Get more than just management involved. Connect your candidates with trustworthy co-workers who they might work with on a daily basis and have them head out for coffee at an informal setting. This will give both the candidate and potential coworkers a chance to connect and get to know one another. It not only allows your employees to uncover any potential red flags but it also helps assess things like how the candidate treated the barista or serving staff.