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How to Conduct Effective Cultural Fit Assessments

Updated: Jun 14, 2021


How to Conduct Effective Cultural Fit Assessments

The importance of conducting cultural fit assessments when hiring new talents can hardly be overemphasized. In our previous post, we explained what cultural fit assessment is and why it is important when recruiting new talents. As a hiring manager or business owner, you may be wondering, “how then do I know a candidate is a good culture fit?” Or “how do I conduct an effective cultural fit assessment?”.


In this post, we`ll cover the important aspects of carrying out an effective cultural fit assessment when interviewing candidates.


Hiring for Culture Fit — Tips for Effective Culture Fit Assessment


There's actually no foolproof strategy for determining if a candidate is a fit for your company culture. However, you stand a better chance at landing the best talent if you consider all the factors that are important to your company. This leads us to the first tip on the list below:


1. First Define Your Company Culture


One very important thing is having a clearly defined company culture and values to which you expect new hires to align. Unless this is first sorted, it can be hard to articulate the things that matter to your company during interviews. This helps you to list out the qualities that make a potential employee a good fit.


When doing this, it is advisable to have a company-wide buy-in on it. If possible, you can run it by existing employees to ensure conformity and that everyone is on the same page.


2. Ask Questions that Reflect Your Company's Culture


Having established the right set of skills and attributes that will make a prospective employee a good culture fit, you need to find a way to creatively weave this understanding into the questions you ask.


For instance, if your company values work/life balance (every organization should actually), you might want to hone in on questions that reveal the candidate`s perspectives on the subject. Also keep in mind that asking these questions will quickly help the candidate understand your company's vibe and expectation, thereby helping them make a quick contrast with their own beliefs and work ethic.


3. Use Case Studies to Assess the Candidates’ Work Ethic and Style


Instead of just asking questions like “How would you describe your approach to work?”. “What is your assessment of our culture based on what you’ve seen?, or “How do your experiences align with the way we do our work? you can ask open-ended questions like,


“Tell us about a time when you worked with an organization where you felt you weren't a good culture fit. How did it affect your work and success at the company?”


Questions like these will give you richer insight into how the candidate will react when faced with similar circumstances in your company.


4. Use Pre-employment Assessments


Don`t forget that culture fit assessment also involves tests of aptitude, adaptability, and role-relevant skills. Luckily, you don't have to do all the hard parts manually. You can find several pre-employment assessment tests out there, many of which will deliver fantastic results. These assessments test for both soft and hard skills, as well as give you a profile of their personality.


5. Get to Know What Type of Culture the Candidate Thrives in


As the interview progresses, ask the candidates to explain their ideal work environment. When you understand the kind of situations under which the person is able to do their best work, then you get an additional feel of their work ethic and style.


If the response reflects your organization's culture, then you know you`re on the same page.


6. Know When to Strike a Balance


In a realistic situation, it may be a tad difficult to find a candidate that captures all you want 100 percent. The candidate might have the right skillset and work culture, but lacks the mix of attitudes that you`re looking for.


In another scenario, the best candidate may have demonstrated all the attributes and work ethic that make for a good culture fit, however, she isn't experienced enough or too old. Knowing when to exercise some flexibility around the rules is important, especially if soft-pedaling will not harm your company.


It is very important to bring in the right candidates just as it is important to understand that it is not only about your company. The opinions and values of your employees matter too, and the new hire should see that during the interview.


This does not mean that you will never find a perfect fit anyway, only that it might take longer and cost more. By the way, having a strong work culture is an excellent strategy for attracting top talents.


7. Ask Questions About Candidates` Performance at Previous Positions


If the prospective employee has worked in similar positions before, getting an overview of how they performed at those positions helps you make a better and firmer judgment of whether or not they are a good culture fit.


8. Engage a Professional Recruiter or a Staffing Agency


There are two possible approaches here: you can either hire a staffing company to hire and onboard new candidates that mesh well with your company culture or you can partner with a professional employer organization (PEO).


While the former will work for any kind of company, the second option (collaborating with a PEO) is best for small and medium-sized businesses. Partnering with a PEO does not only help you save hiring costs, but it also gives your company access to full HR services at a very affordable cost. See here to learn more about the benefits of partnering with a professional employer organization.


Wrapping Up


Conducting effective cultural fit assessments for new hires is not only beneficial to your company, but it also helps the new employees understand your company culture. While the tips discussed above will get you started on a good note, they are not exhaustive on the subject. You may need to approach the process from a more company-specific perspective or simply hire a professional HR service.


If you're on the lookout for help in your hiring process, you can reach out to us at The Mission HR. We are a leading partner in the PEO, HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing marketplace. We provide Custom-tailored HR services for small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors. We serve as a trusted partner in integrated human resource compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.