Many job interviews focus on a candidate’s job skills and experience. But it’s also important to assess whether a person is a good match for the company’s culture.
Matching a candidate to your culture goes a long way in finding a lasting employee who will fit with your company’s unique work environment.
So evaluating and understanding “culture fit” is key to choosing the right candidate. Also, learning how a candidate behaves in the workplace can help paint a picture about how he or she reacts in certain situations.
If you are hiring for a workplace that has a strong focus on core values, make sure to incorporate those values as a foundation for your hiring process. Here are three ideas for how to do that:
- Include your values in your application process. Give a brief explanation of your values and ask candidates to explain how they align to one or more of those values. Focus on actual stories/experiences as you would in a behavioral interview.Keep in mind that a candidate who aligns to your values but doesn’t have all of the right skills can be trained, if you choose to do so. But a bad culture fit can’t be resolved through training.Although they may be productive, employees who are a bad cultural fit can be a huge detriment to your company.One note of caution with behavioral assessment: behaviors exhibited in the past may not be what you see going forward if you don’t have the right cultural match. So ask interviewees about the type of environment they worked in for past jobs. That means not just asking about what they did but about the type of environment they most prefer. If they were successful in an environment different than what they’re entering, their past success might not translate.
- After they’re hired, include your values in your onboarding process. Explain their importance on the first day and reinforce them every day. Living values requires daily attention. If your values are just a poster on the wall, people will not realize their full benefit. Continue to emphasize and review them on a regular basis.
- Include your values in your performance review process and make sure employees know this will be part of it. Fulfilling the duties of the job is only one aspect of performance. The review process should highlight success around living values and also provide coaching around opportunities for improvement.Habits are formed over time. Without incorporating your values in performance reviews and compensation plans, bad habits inconsistent with your values can form.
Determining culture match is not easy. But including it in your hiring process is your first step toward building a strong culture that contributes to long-term success.