How to hire for cultural fit and drive long-term growth

The culture of a company isn’t just defined by top management – it’s the sum total of the behaviours and values of every employee. Entrepreneurs work hard to build their corporate culture and every time someone is hired, the culture will be reinforced or eroded.

Employee cultural fit isn’t just important for building a good team dynamic, it also plays an integral part in reinforcing your company’s mission and vision, inspiring employees and creating the best environment for your customers. While recruiting for the skill set you need will help you find talent to drive your business forward – hiring for cultural fit is how you keep top talent in the door. The most talented people will often leave a company if the culture doesn’t jive with their own expectations. It can cost an organization close to 50-60% of a person’s annual salary when they leave due to poor cultural fit.

Here are three aspects to consider when hiring for cultural fit.

  1. Clearly articulate your company’s culture to candidates

Are you able to define and clearly communicate your company’s culture? Hiring for cultural fit isn’t just about finding someone who meshes well with your team. People will naturally come and go, so it’s important to ensure the values and behaviours of prospective employees match the values and vision of your company. And you won’t be able to make a good match unless you can define your company’s practices and vision during the hiring process. Don’t just list your mission and vision statement on the job description. Use your blog, social media and job postings to paint a vivid picture. Share a story that illustrates how your values are put into action or do a spotlight profile on a current team member to show what types of people you are looking for.

  1. Ask the right questions

You will develop a firm grasp on the types of people you should hire by asking a series of questions designed to tap into value-based behaviours. Value based behavioural questions help you identify candidates who reflect the core beliefs and attitudes that make up your company. Questions like, “If you had to describe our culture based on what you know, what three words would you use?” help to determine how aware the candidate is of your culture. You should also ask questions like, “What values are you drawn to in a workplace?” to reveal how aligned the candidate’s values are with your own. Employee’s who fit well with your culture are more likely to have a higher degree of job satisfaction, as well as stay longer.

  1. Remember that good cultural fit doesn’t mean hiring people that are all the same

It’s unrealistic to think that your company’s values and beliefs will be embodied all by one person. You might already have a member on your team who connects well with your vision but lacks one or two of the behavioural values you are looking for. If you design your recruiting strategy around filling in these gaps you will begin to bring the culture you envision for your company to life. Plus, the more diversity you have in your workforce, the higher probability there is for creativity and innovation to occur.

Assessing cultural fit during the recruitment process will drive long-term growth, saving you time and money. Consider these 4 important elements when creating a great culture for your startup.