Cultural Fit over Skills? Every day of the week!

So, what exactly is a ‘cultural fit’?

And why does research show a cultural fit to be more important that skill sets, experience and qualifications?

The truth is that everything is important, but some things are more important than others and being able to find a candidate who ‘gets’ what your organisation is all about and shares the same values tops the list – or should do.

Somebody who would obviously fit in well but comes in short compared to other candidates’ skills can be developed fairly quickly once in the workplace, but a bad fit who is ideal in many ways but doesn’t gel with the rest of the team may be an issue that can’t be fixed.

We spend up to a third of lives at work so it makes complete sense that you want to get along with the people you work with. Sharing similar outlooks, beliefs and values will help any new candidate settle in quickly and is actually beneficial to the whole team. In turn, that means better productivity and a positive environment.

Fire Fish Software report: “A candidate that is a perfect cultural fit will create a positive environment for colleagues and generally within the company. A culturally strong team are less likely to break up and their performance rate will be higher as they will all work in harmony with the same values and beliefs in mind. They will also be a true representation of the Company.”

Clearly, the benefits of ideal match-ups are infinite.

The interview stage is the place to find out what’s really important but first of all, potential employers need to know exactly what their company’s cultural characteristics are. This information can be then shared with the candidate so the reaction can be gauged – do they like being micro-managed or not? Would they prefer flexible hours and some working from home? Do they work best in a relaxed atmosphere or a fast-paced, high expectation workplace?

It’s not just a case of ‘computer analyst’ required – it’s everything else that goes with it and the more information both sides have from the outset, the more likely a cultural fit will eventually result. What makes the candidate tick? How would they react in imagined scenarios? Much can be gleaned from intelligent, relevant questioning and it will also save time, effort and money further down line (should you get it wrong!)

It’s all about harmony, synergy and shared values – find those in a prospective employee and you’ve struck gold.